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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Claire was glad that Caleb didn't continue with the flattery. It made her uncomfortable, on the whole, and she didn't know how to respond. However, Caleb wasn't the kind of person to rely on pretty words to tell her how he felt about her, and his actions more than made his feelings clear. For that, Claire was more grateful than she could express.

Rolling her eyes, Claire chuckled as Caleb whipped his hand away as though she had hurt him. "You bloody wuss," she grinned. "But yeah, I'd appreciate it if you'd at least tell me before you ask my parents for pictures. At least that way, I'd be able to prepare myself!" Truly, she didn't mind. She'd be perfectly happy if Caleb felt comfortable enough to contact her parents himself. Still, it wasn't likely to happen, so it wasn't something that she was going to have to worry about.

"My dad shouldn't be the one to scare you," she replied, in an equally conspiratorial tone. "Mum's the fucking terrifying one!" Her dad was laid back, the quintessential Kiwi bloke. Her mum, though, came from Irish stock, and had something of a fiery temper. One flash of her bright green eyes, and you knew that she was pissed off. Temperament-wise, Claire was more like her dad, but, on occasion, if she was pushed too far, that Irish temper would come blazing out, and she would take on all comers. More than once, Claire had taken people to task for various reasons, and hang the consequences. As a surgeon, being that fearless could be both a hindrance and a help.

"I don't think mum wants to fatten you up, but us Kiwi women love a bloke with a good appetite," she explained. "Mum doesn't have anything to worry about with you, though, does she? I don't ever see you getting skinny and boring!" In fact, Caleb probably put away more food than any bloke she had known: he just burned it off as well, and, often, in the most interesting of ways.

In fact, she was looking forward to working their meal off later that evening...

Claire had to blink back emotional tears as Caleb affirmed that he really did want her to chat to his parents. It might be the closest she ever got to meeting them, if Atlantis turned out to be the one way trip it was believed to be. "In that case, I'd be honoured," she said, squeezing Caleb's hand with tenderness across the table. "I know it's a big deal for you, and if you change your mind, and would rather not do it... I don't mind. I don't mind at all." Once again, she had to give Caleb the option to back out.

Caleb was the opposite of her when it came to commitment. While Claire didn't do short term flings or one night stands, Caleb, by his own admission, had spent a long while doing nothing but one nighters. Their relationship was a huge shift in things for him, and Claire had to make sure that he felt comfortable and reassured at all times.

"So the stories about submariners being a little bit fucked in the head are all true," she teased, her voice ringing with laughter. "Note to self: when we run out of beer on Atlantis, get someone to piss in a bottle for Caleb. Got it." Claire's expression was pure mischief, but her eyes sparkled good-naturedly.

Claire's eyes took on an unexpected compassion as Caleb described himself as "not upmarket". She shook her head with a surprising vehemence. "It's a good thing that I don't like things posh and stuck up, then," she said, her voice firm. "It's a good thing I love you just the way you are."

She laughed again, a hearty belly laugh, as Caleb declared himself both big and easy. "E taku tahu, you might not want to shout those things in public, otherwise you'll be mobbed by horny women!" She coughed a little, trying not to choke. Caleb had the incredible ability to always be able to make her laugh, yet another of the things she adored about him.

And there he went again.

Claire did actually choke for a second as Caleb made a remark about the couple the server had given the champagne to, her face reddening as she tried not to laugh outrageously. "Well, if they tried, they wouldn't be welcome," she giggled, almost unable to control herself. He had an uncanny knack of being able to shock her, more so than anyone else had managed to. Not that it happened often, but still... "Are you trying to scandalise me, Mr Williams?"

She wondered for a moment whether Caleb had been using dancing as a euphemism for something else altogether, and decided that he had. "Music is generally a good idea if you want to dance," she grinned. "But sounds like a plan, to just wander until we hear something we like, then go on in." It would be fun to wander around a strange city, hand in hand with the man she loved. "Think you can teach me a thing or two?" She let him interpret that statement however he wished.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:08 am 
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Caleb winked at Claire as she called him a 'big wuss', if there was one thing he had found himself doing more often or rather not more often but more a side of him that was showing through a bit more was that joking everything hurt more than it actually did thing. It was one thing he had never joked around with, with people he worked with before - mainly because at several hundred feet below water you didn't joke about getting injured - and it was kind of a side to himself that he was discovering.

"See you call me a wuss, but I bet tomorrow there'll be a bruise and everything," he joked, taking a moment to rub his hand, the silly smile still firmly in place. "Prepare yourself? What kind of baby pictures do you have?" Now he was more intrigued than anything else, actually he had heard of people not wanting the baby pictures to be shown, had heard that it was embarrassing etc.

Oh he was terrified of both her parents, but it was dads he had to watch out for, honestly he had heard so many people say it was the mothers or in some cases mother in laws they had to watch out for. But for him, it was the dads, his a corrupter of many women he didn't want to meet dads a lot.

"See you say that, but I know dads," he said, smiling at her brightly. "Oh totally not boring, there is no boring parties at this table tonight." If he could say it louder he probably would have done, but honestly the conversation was still at least some what semi private for now. "Nope nothing to worry about, I would eat anything she is willing to serve up." He left the part out about the fact that he might not ever actually get to meet her parents, he didn't let the thought show on his face either, it wasn't going to do anyone any good to dwell on that.

The hand holding helped eased his own slight nervousness about putting that out there, honestly he wasn't even sure that it was going to happen. He'd literally have to talk his parents through setting up a Skype with video account, and well he wasn't sure how much free time he would have once he got back before going to Atlantis.

But for Claire to say that she would be willing to do that, well that kind of meant everything to him in one moment. He nodded his head in thanks, a little stuck on what to say in that moment, there were so many things he could say but it felt like words were not going to do him any justice if he said them in that moment.

Caleb laughed at that, "Well sweetheart I never claimed I was normal," he said. It was true there were some odd things they would do that had almost become sort of like a ceremony all on it's own. "Yeah when there's no alcohol left, seek me out, I'll be Atlantis's own little moonshine maker!" Because honestly he needed another reputation to tack onto the end of his name.

The 'I Love You' made his face feel hot, it wasn't the fact she had said the words - he'd heard them before from her and was determined to believe them at all costs - it was the determination that she said them with. Like there was going to be nothing on Earth that he had to change for her - and vice versa - and it was, it was like a tingling seemed to travel down his spine.

Knowing Claire wanted him, loved him, just as he was not complaining about his job, not moaning that he was gone more times than the little - which wasn't as often as it had been now he worked for the SGC - it was, well it was another moment where he had no words to say back to her. That was twice in as many minutes now that she had pretty much rendered him speechless.

"I never said I was shouting them public for all to hear," he said, smirking at her, "Them words were solely for you hear, sweetheart." It was a cheap pick up line he knew that, but hell it worked and it made not only himself smile but Claire as well.

He shook his head in reply to her question, "Scandalise? You? What ever gave you that idea? Did I not just use a scouts honour earlier, am all innocent in this, just sat here eating this lovely food, enjoying company and you tell me am scandalising you." Honestly he wasn't sure he could sound more fake put upon if he tried, but it was fun.

Caleb leant a little over his food, closer to Claire as he said, "Am pretty sure there is still a thing or two that I could show you." It was his own promise of things to come for that night, one that held so much more than just for one night only.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:28 pm 
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Claire snorted. "There there, I'll kiss it better later for you, will that do," she grinned. She swore that kissing it better was the only reason that Caleb pretended to be injured when she did things like that. After all, it had worked the first time: who was to say that the ploy wouldn't work again and again? Not that she needed any excuses to kiss him anyway. It was always a pleasure, never a chore.

She rolled her eyes as he went back to the baby pictures. "Oh, you know, the usual... crying my eyes out, in the nuddy running around the garden, taking a crap in the bath... that sort of thing." In her family - certainly, in most of her friends' families, too, when growing up - those pictures were perfectly normal. Whether or not they would seem normal to Caleb remained to be seen. Claire grinned, her cheeks flushing somewhat. "See? I don't know about you, but my family can be a bloody embarrassing lot."

"My dad's a pussycat, honestly," Claire reassured Caleb. "He thinks you're good for me, and that's more than enough for him. You really don't want to get on mum's bad side, though, she can be a bloody terror!" Mum was always the one to worry about when she had been growing up. Dad, while strict enough, was nothing to mum's reaction when you had overstepped the mark. Claire and her sisters had learned a healthy respect for others, though, and she felt that she had had as good an upbringing as she possibly could have.

Claire tossed Caleb one of the challenging grins that he would have seen more and more of since they got together. "How about a hangi? Or some pipi or pāua?" All things that she certain that Caleb would never have heard of, and she looked forward to his reaction.

Caleb's expression was one of gratitude when she agreed to talk to his parents, and Claire didn't have to say a word. She just squeezed his hand more tightly. This was the closest either of them would get to meeting the other's family, and it meant as much to Claire as it appeared to mean to Caleb.

"If you were normal, e ipo, I wouldn't be interested in you," she chuckled, brushing her fingers lightly across the sensitive underside of Caleb's wrist. Normal was no fun. Normal couldn't make her laugh uncontrollably in inappropriate situations. Normal couldn't make her forget to breathe because she was so caught up in the man she was in love with.

Caleb's face coloured up as she told him she loved him just as he was, and Claire smiled softly. "You never have to change a thing for me," she said, her voice quiet and sincere. And it was true.

There was nothing - not even his flirting with other women - that Claire would change about Caleb, given the chance. Everything he did fed into who he was. If it wasn't for his flirtatious nature, they wouldn't be together now. If it wasn't for his cheeky insistence that she ought to kiss him better after he had fallen onto his arse, they would still be just friends, and who knew what feelings she might have had to fight off, instead of embracing?

Sometime during their conversation, their food arrived, and, despite its mouthwatering aroma, Claire barely noticed it as Caleb laid it on thick again. "You'd better hope I was the only one to hear it," she giggled, glancing down at the vast plate that had been placed before her. Its contents glistened invitingly in the soft lights in the restaurant, and Claire's mouth watered at its delicious scent.

Claire laughed as Caleb tried - and failed - to play the innocent, and she scooped up a small forkful of the jambalaya, shaking her head in utter hopelessness at Caleb. "You'd not be happy unless you were scandalising someone, e te tau," she grinned. "I almost hate to think what it'll be like when we... move." It would be a small community, and she had no doubt that gossip would be rife, even if they were openly a couple. Caleb's reputation as a womaniser, and her reputation as someone who didn't even date, would see to that, she was certain.

There was a heat dancing in Claire's eyes as Caleb told her he could teach her a think or two. Slowly, and never breaking eye contact with him, Claire popped the forkful of jambalaya into her mouth, savouring the spicy, complex flavours. It was like nothing she had ever tasted before. "I'd hope you can still teach me something, otherwise things are going to get bloody boring, bloody quickly!"

She scooped up another forkful of spicy rice, and offered it to Caleb. "Here, try this," she said, already decided that a spoonful of rich, saucy gumbo would be next. "This stuff is incredible."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:49 pm 
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Caleb just raised an eyebrow at that remark, honestly there was a lot of 'kissing it better' going on in there relationship. Actually that was pretty much how there relationship started, but that very much was not the point. He decided that it was something to look forward to, another promise for what lay ahead for the evening. "Two promises in one night, I do believe that you must be up on your quote of things to promise for one evening."

He smiled as she described each photo she probably had, they all sounded near enough the same as what his mother had taken of him. Not that he had actually spent time looking at the photos his mother had, he had always been much more likely to be out getting into situations that his mother thought needed a photo being taken than actually looking at them. Of course if he got to share them with Claire he'd be intrigued to see what she would be given.

"I'll remember to keep the charm firmly in place then, for your mum," he said, smiling at her. It was kind of the opposite with his own parents, his mum was much more laid back than his dad ever had been. It was probably because he had clashed a little bit with his dad when he was a teenager that his dad now didn't really pull his punches. "Kind of opposites for me, dads the one that doesn't really hold back."

The strange words that came next, had him staring at her for a second, honestly he was kind of use to her dropping the odd word here or there. But that had been three near enough in a row and he was nearly certain one of them was cursing him, or rather that was what it sounded like to him anyway.

"A hangi? I feel like I should be ordering a side with that word." he said laughing, he shook his head "I've honestly no idea what you've just asked me, but if I answer yes to all of them how much trouble would I end up in, really?" His normal course of action was to just nod and go along with it, but honestly that had landed him in more trouble than it was worth sometimes, this time, this time he was tread cautiously.

Caleb smiled at that, if there was one job in the entire world - or galaxy as the case may be now - that required you not to be normal it was this one. So the fact he wasn't normal and the fact that Claire had fallen for that, well that in its self was not normal. He was certain that had they never worked together in the capacity that they had, nor had he been stitched up by her as many times as he had, then he would never had gotten to this point friendship wise or relationship wise. It was the job that had introduced them and it was the job that was taking them on a whole another adventure in just a short time.

"Same for you, you never have to change for me," he replied, the flirting, the joking having gone momentarily for a sincere tone of voice. He never wanted Claire to change for him, he'd never ask that of her, he liked her just the way she was. He loved her just the way she was.

He had been so completely involved in the conversation they had been having, the serious and the flirty one - which was good they could have two like that and know exactly what the other meant - that he hadn't noticed a plate of food being put in front of him.

It wasn't until his sense of smell caught up with him and the smell from his meal made him look down, he huffed out a small laugh that he hadn't noticed that, before taking a small mouthful. The food was hot and so very tasty all at the same time, "Am sure you were the only one to hear that."

He wasn't sure about that, but it didn't matter, his words were meant for Claire and Claire only, it wasn't like they were going to get a random stranger come up to them because of the conversation they had been having.

Caleb pretended to look mock hurt, "Honestly, me scandalising women?" he asked, taking a moment to pause before smiling brightly and adding, "How ever did you guess that was my one favourite hobby of all time?"

"There are still some secrets I've yet to show you, of course want to save something for the big moving day as well," he said, a touch of smugness to his voice. He honestly wasn't sure if they would get much time together once they got on Atlantis, the group wasn't going to be that big, and well he was beginning to think the place was going to be small and he had a nightmare about them living on top of one another.

But it was a plan, a plan for the future and he was all for them at the moment, planning for the future. Making sure there was definitely something to look forward to, a moment of normality to relax against.

As the offered fork sat in front of him, he leant forward and took it, slowly, just as Claire had done with her own. Which he had refused to comment on because otherwise he was sure that there dinner would go cold and well it smelled so nice he didn't want it to be getting cold any time soon. He never broke his eye contact with her either, as he took the mouthful of food she was offering.

The food was delicious, so tasty, just like his own dish and although it had been a moment of trying to flirt with food to Claire. It was actually a pretty good piece of food. "It is pretty amazing, I'd offer you some of mine but well it's mine." he said jokingly, leaving his own plate open so she could quite happily steal some of his food if she wished.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:31 pm 
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Claire looked at Caleb with a serene smile on her lips, her eyes dancing with something far more primal. "You know I never make promises I won't keep," she said, her tone making yet another promise, albeit an unspoken one. That was something that Claire had always stuck to, something that she firmly believed in. To her, promises were sacred, and not something to be made lightly.

"I think your charm will serve you just fine with mum," she grinned, taking another sip of her water. "You're polite, well-mannered, and you've got a sense of humour. Not to mention you're devilishly good looking. You'll have her wrapped around your little finger in no time, just like her daughter." Caleb would have to go a long way to annoy Claire's mum, in all honesty. She had taken one look at Claire during their last Skype session and known she was happier than she had ever been. The bloke responsible for that was already one of the good guys, in her books.

Heaven help him if he ever hurt Claire, though. Her mum would have his balls for breakfast.

Somehow, Claire was surprised that Caleb's dad was the one who seemed to have more of a temper. With Caleb being so laid back, she had assumed that he took after his dad. "You know, that surprises me," she admitted, quirking her eyebrows up in a silent question. "I guess I assumed you took after your dad, at least temperament wise." She grinned. "Do you take after him looks wise, instead?" Claire looked like a cross between her parents, maybe slightly favouring her mother, with her green eyes - albeit a sludgy green - and her paler skin.

Claire couldn't help but laugh at Caleb's reaction to the Māori foodstuffs she mentioned. "Actually, you would have sides with a hangi," she chuckled. "It's kind of a Māori roast dinner, cooked in an oven that's been dug into the earth. The heat comes from river stones that have been heated in a fire. Pāua is a sea snail, and pipi are... well, I guess they're like clams. All good, traditional Māori food." Good, traditional Māori food that she'd never get the chance to cook for him, too, and that was a sad thought.

She smiled as Caleb affirmed that she never had to change for him. "That's a bloody good thing, then, because I couldn't if I wanted to," she replied, still every bit as serious and sincere as Caleb was. "I think that was one of the problems with Tama. He didn't want me as I was, he wanted me as he could imagine me." His vision of her just hadn't gelled with who the real Claire was. He wanted someone to stay at home and tend to his every whim. Claire, on the other hand, wanted her own career, wanted to be the best surgeon she could be. That hadn't been something that Tama had wanted at all, and he had sought his compliant women elsewhere. Sometimes, Claire wondered how she could have been so stupid as to not realise.

"And what if I wasn't the only one to hear it," she teased, her eyes dancing with amusement. "What if we do get a couple coming up and asking to join in?What would you do then?| Claire's voice was full of laughter. Of course it wouldn't happen, but with New Orleans' reputation, you could never be one hundred percent certain of anything when it came to sex.

Claire's eyebrows arched upwards. "You're saving something for moving day," she giggled, looking more than a little confused. "Should I be worried?" She wondered what on earth it could be, what he had been keeping from her that was so important that he'd wait until they left for another galaxy. Or it could be that he was just having fun with her. Could be either, really, with Caleb. His sense of humour knew no bounds sometimes.

Claire watched as Caleb took the food, his eyes still locked with hers, and she felt her toes curl with lust. Her mind wasn't on the food, it was on what Caleb would be doing with that mouth of his later. How he would make her feel with those lips, that tongue, those hands...

Claire swallowed deeply, forcing her mind back to the present, and where they were. She laughed at his comment about the food. "So that's the way of it, is it? What's mine is yours, and what's yours is yours too," she chuckled. "Bloody sounds about right."

And with a mischievous glint in her eye, she stabbed a piece of chicken, and popped it into her mouth.

"Mine," she said, and, with her accent, she sounded not unlike one of the seagulls from "Finding Nemo".


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Caleb nodded his head, yes he knew that her promises were something that were not made lightly but when they were they were kept exactly to the letter. Or rather as close to the letter as they could get when some of them were pretty ambiguous, of course those were the best ones because he knew she would do something and it was always a surprise when it happened.

Caleb smiled as Claire listed of his few good qualities, it was nice to hear someone talk about him like that, instead of just appreciating his assets and skill at times. “Are you sure you're talking about me? I mean I get the good looking part.” he said, a definite laugh just on the edge of his voice as he teased her about what she'd said.

Caleb was in no way self conscious of who he was, what he'd done or exactly how his personality played out at times. He was comfortable with who he was, always had been – or rather he had been once he'd found his footing in the Navy – so yeah the words didn't come as a surprise to him. But it was always nice to hear from time to time, that people did see that polite mannered man from time to time.

“Oh am sure it's the other way around, am sure people are saying am completely whipped now,” he said, smiling at her. He didn't mind them comments people made, or the ribbing that he got for actually sticking with one woman, and yes there had been the inevitable 'was she pregnant' question. But he was completely devoted to her, whipped was summing up everything he felt for her in that moment.

As the conversation shifted back to talk of who he was like, he nodded his head as Claire said it surprised her. It did many people, everyone always assumed that his dad was exactly the same as him – especially the womanising ways – but it just wasn't the way. For that aspect of himself he didn't take after anyone, that was a purely him thing and one that he wasn't afraid to hide.

“The blonde from mum,” he said, gesturing to his hair slightly. In the restaurant light it probably looked more like a light brown than having any blonde in it. “Look like dad, just with less grey obviously.” He winked at her at that, he was near enough a spitting image of his dad, when his dad had been younger. “Also if you ever need your car sorting I can do that. One thing he taught me was strip a car and put it back together, could probably do that by time I was sixteen.” He said with a shrug, he didn't resent the fact he was able to do that, never had that was what had set him on the quest to become a weapons expert his love for making things work.

As nice as the first traditional Maori meal sounded, the others didn't exactly appeal to him. Maybe it was the thought of eating a snail, he'd heard the horror stories from some of the others of having down time in France and eating snails and how slimy they were. It wasn't something he particular wanted to try any time soon, and wasn't he going to be stuck if all the food on Atlantis was just home grown snail.

Wrinkling his nose up he said, “The roast one sounds lovely, like really, really almost as good as this dinner nice. Am not sold on the snails though, no matter how traditional they are. Of course if we ever get to go to New Zealand then you'll have to show me these traditional meals and the same if we ever go to England. Ever had a traditional Sunday Roast?” He asked, eyes bright, right up until the moment he realised what he said, them visiting either New Zealand or England was not on there list any more they were leaving for a different galaxy, there was no time.

“Shit, sorry, I shouldn't have brought that up,” he said, apologising sincerely. He knew he had put his foot in his mouth with the fact that he swore, not something he often did unless under immense stress or having said something he shouldn't have.

He felt his own heart clench at the realisation that he wasn't going to get to go home before Atlantis, not with the amount he had to do. He should have kept his mouth shut, not mentioned it, but he'd got caught up in the moment, talking of home and the food they would share and his mouth had run away from him in an instant.

As Claire spoke of Tama, he held her hand once more, honestly the more she told him of Tama the more he really just wanted to teach the bloke a lesson in how to treat not just a woman but a person in general. He had never met anyone like Tama before, and hoped to never meet one either, he just did not understand how people could act that way and that was saying something with the amount he had seen travelling through the Stargate several times a month.

“I imagine you just the way you are, no need for changing in the least,” he said smiling at her, “After all if you had changed, then I would never have had such a good Doctor stitching me up that very first time in the infirmary.” He could still recall that very first meeting with Claire, still had a small scar on his side where the shrapnel had gone into him, he wondered if Claire had found it when she slept with him. He could still remember the fact that she had not taken any of his flirting ways and had patched him up quite nicely.

“It was kind of the same thing with Rachael and me,” he admitted smiling slightly, “Think in the end she wanted a stay at home husband, wasn't what I wanted.” Admittedly they had actually split as friends and although at first he had made a point of talking to her, that had dwindled by the side as the years went on and now he never really contacted her at all.

The conversation went back to the flirting one, one that he could settle into very comfortably, and the smile wasn't just nice and soft, it was once again mischievous. “If anyone else did ask to join, I would have to politely decline, because you see I have this girlfriend, she doesn't like sharing me with anyone. It's a job I take very, very seriously.” He added winking at her.

“Worried? No. Excited? Yes,” he said, secretly. Honestly the only thing he had planned for moving day, was that by the end of it they ended up together alone. He might try to smuggle something romantic along with his stuff especially for that first night together. “Of course there might be surprises to come later tonight as well.”

He added the smile even more secretive now, of course that was a definite plan, one that had been cooking away in his mind since he had decided to go to Atlantis and tonight was the night that it happened.

He tried to pretend to keep his food secure as Claire went in for a bite, clearly making it so that she could take a bit. “Of course, am a growing sailor need all the food we can get,” he said, smiling cheekily at her.

Caleb laughed out right as she declared the piece of chicken she had nicked from his plate hers, it was a full heart felt laugh as well, he was reminded of a film that he couldn't quite place the name of at that moment.

“Is that to the food or to me?” he asked, because to be honestly he was quite happy to be hers for as long as she would have him. She had left enough marks on him during there time together that he was sure they spelt out Claire under a certain light.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:01 pm 
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Claire laughed, rolling her eyes. "Oh, you know full well I'm talking about you," before giving his hand another squeeze. "Modesty really isn't one of your strongest suits, is it?" Well, false modesty wasn't. Despite appearances, Caleb wasn't one to boast unnecessarily, and, in some ways, was far more humble than many people she knew. In its way, it was an endearing quality in and of itself. "When you did the whole 'meet the parents' thing before, was that their opinion of you as well?" Maybe it was an odd question, but, given Caleb's reticence to talk to her parents at first, Claire would bet there was something deeper behind it.

"You? Whipped? Pull the other one!" Caleb was no more pussy-whipped than she was dominated by him. They had a relationship of true equals, and anyone who couldn't see that wasn't looking deeply enough. While they weren't hiding their relationship, they weren't singing about it from the rooftops either, so people were going to see what they wanted to see.

Caleb's friends were far more surprised about their relationship than her friends were, and he came in for far more ribbing from them than she did. The usual teasing about whether she was pregnant had come and gone, and now the whispers permeating the hallways seemed to be around bets on how long it would be before someone else captured Caleb's attention. Caleb might have been a womaniser when he was single, but Claire was convinced that he wouldn't be unfaithful, wouldn't be looking out for the next chance.

It was a shame that other people didn't seem to want to believe that, though.

Claire gave Caleb a gentle smile as he explained who he got his looks from. "So if I look at your dad, that's what I can expect you to look like in twenty or thirty years," she teased. "Is he still a looker? If he's not, you realise I might have to reconsider moving with you!" Her voice was teasing. She couldn't care less if Caleb's dad had turned into a decrepit old man by the time he hit forty. The outside packaging was just that: packaging. It was what was inside that counted.

"I don't think I'm going to need a car once we move, but thanks for the offer anyway," she chuckled, nodding as the server brought their fresh drinks. The wine was cold and good, and she savoured its flavour as it slipped down her throat. "I'm sure we can find plenty of other things for you to tinker with, though."

Claire couldn't help but laugh at Caleb's reaction to the pāua and the pipi. "Don't knock them until you try them," she replied. "They're surprisingly good.[/i]" In fact, she would kill for a serving of paua fritters from Blair's on the Beach at Piha. The crips crunchiness, then the soft saltiness... heaven. It was a shame that Caleb would never get to try them.

"Of course I've had a Sunday roast," she replied, an amused smile dancing on her lips. "Nothing quite like it. Mum used to roast lamb almost every week, and the whole family would come round." Another thing she truly missed about home, and something she would never stop missing, she'd bet.

That pang of sadness bit hard, though, as she realised what Caleb had said about visiting one another's families. "Don't apologise," she replied, her voice soft and contemplative. "We can't avoid talking about it, so I'd rather we don't try to dance around the subject and makw things harder on ourselves. We'll have to make do with Skype and phone calls." She grinned, a little more spirited now. "And I'm sure I can do a Sunday roast for us before we leave." A little something to remind them both of the homes they would be leaving behind.

Caleb's hand tightened around hers as she mentioned Tama again, and she shrugged. He was well and truly out of her life now, and, with more than a little surprise, Claire found that what he had done to her no longer hurt the way it had until recently. In fact, he had done her a favour. If he hadn't been such a dick, she wouldn't be here with Caleb, about to embark on the greatest adventure possible.

She laughed as he said he couldn't imagine her any other way. "Well, that's good, then," she said, her voice ringing with laughter again. "And you? A stay at home husband? Christ, I can just imagine you in an apron, baby tucked under each arm while you try to make the dinner!" The mental image amused her, and she buried the prick of hurt at the thought of Caleb as a father. If he said it didn't matter to him, then she had to accept that.

"This girlfriend of yours who doesn't like to share... how's she going to feel about you being out with me tonight," grinned Claire, shaking her head. As far as she was concerned, Caleb could have as many female friends as he liked. Men and women could be just friends, even though she and Caleb appeared to be the exception that proved the rule. In a way, it had been inevitable that they would act on their flirting.

Claire looked quizzically at Caleb when he said that she ought to be excited about whatever he had planned for later that evening. "Okay, now you've got me really worried," she joked. She laughed as he commented that he needed his food. Claire Gave a not-so-subtle glance downwards. "I'm only concerned about certain parts of you growing, you know."

Another, flirt, another laugh, and Claire shrugged. "Both," she said, her voice slightly questioning as she forked up a prawn from her gumbo and offered it to Caleb. "You know me, I'll take whatever I can get!"


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:54 pm 
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"See but were you talking about me, I mean you see all sorts come through that infirmary door of yours," he said, laughing slightly as he smiled at her. He so totally knew that she was talking about him, in ever sense of the word, but it was something he could joke about easily enough. He knew when people were being serious about him and when they were joking about it.

He did sort of smile a little bit when Claire asked about his previous 'meet the parents' experience, he had been a completely different man back then. Okay maybe not completely different but there had definitely been less flirting and maybe a little less charm back then, he had been the good solider, good sailor and had done nothing but praise his ex. Which her parents had seemed to eat up at the time, but honestly he couldn't remember feeling as ease with them as he had done with Claire's parents, there had always been a part of him that had felt like he was 'trying' to please them.

"Erm....not exactly," he said, "They thought I was nice and well mannered, there was less charm back then am afraid." He didn't have to explain to Claire that he had quite literally developed his charm, his flirting nature after he had split with his ex. It was because of her that he had become the womaniser that everyone knew because he refused to actually let himself fall that far that he'd get hurt again.

Yet here he was, doing that exact same thing, falling hard for a woman and moving to a different galaxy with her. But there was that strong sense of right with Claire that he had never had with Rachael before, the completeness that settled in his stomach every time he was in the same room with Claire. Made everything that more certain in his mind that he was in this for the long haul this was the right decision to have been made and he wouldn't change it for the world.

He smiled as she told him to pull the other one, and he wouldn't be him if he didn't reply with, "Pull the other one, well only if you insist of course, I'd hate to disappoint a lady."

Honestly if most of his friends could hear him speak to Claire in the way he did, well there would definitely be more whipped jokes that went around when they had nothing better to do that was for sure. But they would know then, totally know that he was dead certain on being with this woman, the ribbing would turn less about him 'jumping ship asap' and more to 'putting a ring on it asap' two things that he wasn't going to do any time soon and for very different reasons.

"You know I hadn't really looked at my dad to see if he would be classed as a looker," admitted Caleb, really he didn't need mental images of such things. It was still his dad at the end of the day and yes he might be in his late thirties but still, he didn't need to be thinking of such things.

He shook his head as she talked about changing her mind, "That is so very much how I'll look when am fifty or so, it's a shame my parents didn't have another child, at least then you would have been able to trade me in for the younger model." he said, jokingly. He knew there was no way, he would be traded in, it wasn't his looks the woman in front of him had sat for - well he hoped it was a little bit of his looks of course -.

"You say that now, I bet you one gets taken a long with us," he said brightly as the conversation changed direction again. "Of course they could always take them, bike things," he suggested struggling to find the word for a moment, before smiling brightly as he remembered what it was, "The segaways!"

He could just imagine it now, the SGC having boxed up several good segaways, he was sure that would make excellent travelling conditions around Atlantis. All the military personnel flitting from place to place on them, actually he might insist they get one for the rest of the SGC he was sure his mates would love that as a going away present from him.

Caleb nodded his thanks as the server placed the new drink on the table, honestly he hadn't been paying much attention to the surroundings and well he hadn't even realised the server had been gone for that long. He took a sip of the beer, so much nicer than the champagne he'd just had and it went a lot better with his meal as well. He realised he was probably going to have to leave a considerable tip for the poor server, god knows what the poor guy would have over heard with the two of them talking as they always did.

"What's that saying, devil makes work for idle hands," he said, when Claire mentioned him having to find something else to 'tinker' with. "Not that my hands have ever been idle of course, you do a great job of finding them something to 'hold'." Total and utter pick up line and well, it had been too easy to fall into that and he just couldn't help himself really. He was like a kid with a stick, he just had to go and poke something.

He shook his head as she mentioned the snails again, he just didn't get how someone could look at something like a snail and deem it food worthy. Of course he still wasn't sure how humans came to be eating cows, but honestly he didn't like to dwell on that too much otherwise he was sure he'd become vegetarian.

"Am afraid am gonna knock them, there just something about putting snails in my mouth," he said, shuddering overly dramatically. "It just doesn't appeal to me, sorry, the first traditional dish sounds fantastic though."

And it did, it had sounded absolutely wonderful and despite the fact that he had been steadily tucking into his own meal at the restaurant the thought of trying some different kind of food made his stomach grumble slightly. Even as he was putting fresh food into it.

The smile was softer as she spoke having actually had a Sunday roast, his own family's Sunday roast had probably always been a quieter affair than what Claire's seemed. But if he thought about it long enough he could almost smell the meat cooking, hear the roast potatoes sizzling and honestly if he had never gotten into fixing things he was sure that he'd end up having been a chef.

"I know we can't avoid talking about it, and I don't want to, I really don't," he said quietly, "But this was meant to be a bit of a getaway from thinking about....well thinking about leaving everything behind really. Chance to just relax, go dancing and dancing, I don't want to bring the mood down."

Which he probably hadn't actually done, they both weren't one for not talking about a subject, but they were both good at picking one another up if it did turn kind of sad for a moment or two. It was the one thing he had learnt to really like about Claire, that despite the fact he was a solider, he was a sailor and saw terrible things nearly ninety percent of the time, he was still allowed to feel human and have a moment of being upset.

Sometimes he found that people forgot that underneath everything he was still a human being and no matter how much of an act he could put on - which he had done on an occasion before now - he didn't have to with Claire. He could quite literally be himself.

He brought there interlocked hands towards his lips and kissed the back of hers as she suggested making a Sunday roast before they left, "That would be brilliant." he said, before dropping it back down to the table.

Caleb smiled as she started laughing at the picture of him as a house husband, the laugh was slightly contagious and he found himself laughing along with her, "Oh just admit it you've got the flowery pink apron all picked out ready for when we move haven't you? Come on you can tell me the truth."

The flirting didn't stop there either, "My girlfriend is fine with it," he started smiling, "I made her a deal you see, only allowed to pick up one girl for the night if I take her dancing. Figured it was a safe deal to make and here I am." He sat back in his seat for a moment, in an 'here I am for all night' kind of way.

He laughed as he caught her not so subtle glance down, honestly people called him completely outrageous well if he told half the stories about Claire....actually people still would not believe him. He would just have to keep the stories to himself for rainy days in the end.

"Oh trust me, you don't need to be concerned about me not doing my job properly, I always rise to the occasion," he said a smirk firmly in place.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:54 pm 
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Dinner passed as expected: a mixture of flirting, of sincere conversation, and lots of laughter. The restaurant was pleasantly busy, but never too loud to enjoy their conversation. The food was excellent, and Claire thoroughly enjoyed what was, effectively, their first proper date in public. They had been together for over a month, and, aside from their first date after the kiss in the gym, this was the first time they had gone out for a meal together.

It was giddying to be able to act like a normal couple for once, not having to worry about who might see them, or whether any display of affection in public might be seen as inappropriate. In fact, their hand holding and even their dancing in the street could be seen as conservative.

Caleb had still managed to surprise her more than once that evening, and Claire couldn't help but wonder what he had up his sleeve for later that evening. It was always worrying when he planned something, albeit in a good way. He would tease her mercilessly about what he had in store for her, build the anticipation, and only tell her when he was good and ready.

She couldn't wait to find out what he had planned for later.

Now, outside in the chill night air, Claire's arm hooked through Caleb's, and they made their way through the French Quarter towards Treme. "You know, I'm not sure how much further I'm going to manage on these bloody heels," she giggled. They were too high, but they did make her feel sexy. "Maybe we ought to get a taxi?"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Dinner seemed to have passed in a blur for Caleb, honestly it hadn't felt like two minutes ago that they had been making there way out of the hotel through the streets - where yes he promptly took hold of her and spun her round, which actually still surprised himself that he had done that - and had been taken a table right in the back of an overly crowded restaurant.

Where they had basically just wiled away the time flirting, talking, joking, just in general being together without the added pressure of them being Doctor and Petty Officer, they were just themselves. It was an odd feeling to have really, but it was one he planned to take advantage of as much as possible.

Now they were back out on the street, it was still full of people - this time some of them a lot more drunker than previously - heading towards wherever held the best music. He was quite literally just listening out for the music, following his ears as it were. Claire had her arm tucked through his, it was an intimate thing, the fact they were showing everyone that passed them they were a couple, something he had not really done in a long time.

When Claire mentioned about her shoes, he slowed his pace a little further, glancing down at her heels. He had actually forgotten she was in heels that although made her legs appear miles long and so very appealing, were probably not the most comfortably shoes to ever wear. Not that he had much knowledge about the wearability of women's shoes, thankfully he had not lost that bet.

He smiled cheekily at her, "I could always carry you if you wanted?" he suggested, knowing there was no way she would agree to that. No matter how amusing it might be for a sort while, of course he wasn't exactly sure if they would get a taxi at this time of night in these crowds. Of course he was just going of what the current situation looked like, for all he knew New Orleans taxi's were amazing and would be able to find them in no time.

"You could always take them off, walk bear foot," he added, the night wasn't cold - okay it was chilly it was beginning to get fairly late into the evening now - and it wasn't wet either. He himself had done a walk barefooted before, he just wasn't sure if Claire would be up for that.


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