“You okay over there?”
Laura lets out an aggravated sigh. No, she isn’t okay. She is the self-declared President of all that is left of the human race, she is the Prophet of Pythia…
And she can’t get her pants to button up anymore.
Bill comes over to where she stands, huddled against the cracked mirror that she propped against the wall when she moved in. Bill might not care how he looks, but she has an image to maintain.
“Trouble?” he asks, his voice mild.
An image that will probably take a turn for the worse when she’s forced to conduct official business wearing Bill’s sweatpants, the single article of clothing in their quarters that can currently accommodate her expanded waistline.
“Your baby appears to have grown in the night, and I can’t fit into any of my clothes,” she informs him, a distinct note of accusation creeping into her voice.
Bill slips his arms around her, resting his hands on her rounded abdomen. “You knew this was coming,” he reminds her. “I’m amazed that you’ve managed to keep it a secret for as long as you have. But you’re showing now, Laura. People are going to notice.”
But it isn’t just a question of vanity, or of the gossip that Laura knows will run rampant the second it’s revealed that the President isn’t just living with the Commander, but is actually carrying his child. That’s bad enough. But there’s the stupid frakking prophecy, and if she interprets it to apply to her child, who’s to say the people won’t, too?
The last thing Laura needs is a panic on her hands.
Bill rests his head on top of hers, his hands tracing soothing patterns on her skin. “It’s time, Laura,” he says. “At least if we make an announcement, we’ll be able to put out a request for some things for you.”
“Fine,” Laura huffs. “But will you help me get these buttoned, first?”
By the time she and Bill make it to their briefing with Kara and Lee, Laura is half-convinced that the waistband of her pants is digging into her stomach far enough to skewer her organs.
Just hang on a little longer, baby, she promises silently. Mommy will get us something comfier tomorrow.
“Morning,” Lee says. Lee is always polite to her, always respectful.
Kara nods vaguely in her direction.
“Morning,” Laura replies, smiling brightly at Lee while unsuccessfully attempting to suck in her stomach to give herself a little breathing room. She reaches across the table to hand Lee an agenda for the meeting—
And the button on her pants pops free, flying across the room, exposing her enlarged belly.
Lee’s mouth falls open.
Kara grins and punches Bill in the arm. “Way to go, old man!”
Laura can feel the heat rising in her face. She could not possibly be more embarrassed than she is right now.
She hears the click of a camera from behind her. She turns to see that Bill left the door open…and a reporter is standing right outside.
By lunch time, the entire camp knows.
On the bright side, Laura now has quite an array of maternity clothes to choose from.
On the not-so-bright side…it turns out most maternity clothes are ugly.
Maybe she’ll just wear Bill’s sweatpants for the next five months, after all.