1999: The Marriage Tree
The Marriage Tree
Summary: Zachary and Eden meet for their final experiment.
Date: 23/Jan/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Experiment One
Zachary Eden 
Early May, 1999 and Early January, 2005.

May 1999


When Eden asked Zach to pack for a picnic, she knew he would rise to the occassion. He packed brie with fresh mushrooms, honey glazed ham, dijon mustard, cornichons, pate mousse truffles and baguettes to make sandwiches with, cucumber and tomato salad, cantelope wrapped in prosciutto, salmon and cream cheese deviled eggs and madlines, lemon tarts, pecan pie tarts and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert. He did not bring drinks, leaving that on Eden and waits for her on the edge of the field that they agreed to meet at, chosen for it's view of the mountains and solitude on Leonis.

That is not all it's known for. Zachary knows of the local legends of the single tree that stands out in the middle of the field. It was rumored that this was once a massive forest that was wiped out by a fire, and this lone tree survived and bore fruit. Locals had started to call it the Marriage Tree, supposedly because a young couple had married on the spot and carved their initials into the tree - when the forest burned down, the tree survived on the strength of their love. Now, many couples choose this spot to carve in their initials and hope for the blessing of a long and loving marriage built on strength and fidelity.

Eden approaches from her car not far away and leans into the open wind over the plains of Leonis. She carries a small woven basket at her side, a couple of bottle necks sticking out of it as they tink lightly together. She's in his favorite sundress, halter top in deep blue to bring out her eyes and layers of white beneath that shifts and flow about her legs. Barefeet. Might as well be. She smile sat him as she gets closer and pushes curls from her face. She wears that necklace he gave her, the small charm twisting as she moves. Drawing close to him without hesitating, she tilts her head up for a kiss from him and leans into him with a hand to his chest.

She is a sight to behold. Casually dressed in his jeans and a simple button up shirt, he watches her come up to him and can't help but to smile at her. Even after three years together, she brings a smile to his face so easily. "Hey beautiful." he offers, slipping an arm around her waist to accept the kiss she so freely offers and leans down into her. "You sure know how to pick a spot. I didn't even know this place existed until you sent me directions." A warm smile at that, and then he slips his hand into hers. "There's a tree over there." he points in the direction offered. "Is that where you want to set up?"

"Hello charmer," Eden says with a dimpled smile and then looks to the tree, "Yes, that is where I had planned. Hopefully it won't be too windy today. Some days are worse than others but the weather seemed to indicate light winds." She admits and then with his hand in her's, she begins to tug him after her towards the tree. Halter dress leaves for a bare back from the middle to the neck where the thing ties in place. She glances back over her shoulder and pulls him close to her side, stopping her walk to steal another kiss from him. "I am glad you like it."

She's teasing him with that bared back and lack of support for her front as he eyes that delicate skin and falls in with her. "Good weather for kite flying, if you're interested." he says with a smile as she suddenly pauses and kisses him again. He returns the kiss naturally, but arches his brow. "What was that for?" he asks in mild amusement, starting to complete the trek to the tree and to take the blanket out of his bag. "Hope you brought your appetite."

"Because I can? Why do I need a reason other than I care for you, Zachary. My family is very supportive." She moves to join him, waiting to lower onto the blanket. "I am very hungry..famished." She says and places a hand to her stomach before there is a warming smile. "Like I said, my family is supportive…don't be surprised if I randomly tell you I love you. Or steal a kiss, or hug….or just want to hold you." Her hand slips over to his arm and she touches him. Her head tilts and she glances at the basket, sitting back a bit to pull out the two wines and glasses from her own bag.

"You do not need a reason…" Zachary finds himself backpedalling verbally as she states her case for taking a kiss or affection anytime that she wants as he holds up his hands in the universal, 'I give up' gesture. "Yes, I know, I was there when they started asking us when we plan to finally be serious about our relationship." he shakes his head, still amused as he lays out the blanket and then he sets down his bag to start setting out the food. He's gone so slow in their relationship. Trying to get her acclimated to his life as a CSAR driver - the long shifts, the short stays at home. He worries that she will not find it to her liking. He's even still trying to warm to the idea of moving in with her since it takes him further from base, but she can't live on the base as his girlfriend.

"Zachary, sometimes you miss the whole meaning of what I say…ah well." Eden is smiling despite her words offers him the bottle and cork screw. "Open it for us?" She asks him, watching his face and his reactions. "Relax, Mister Sheperd, I don't bite and neither will the picnic." She smooths a hand through her hair and leans into her hand once he takes the bottle, she watches the horizon.

Zachary just gives Eden a confused look. She's so much an enigma wrapped in a riddle to him. "I am relaxed." he says with a puff of his chest and works on opening the bottle that she offers, taking the corkscrew and twists it home, before he starts to tug and pull and there's a solid 'POP' as it comes open and he works on pouring the two glasses. "What shall we toast to, my dear Eden?" he asks, as the wind blows, bringing the fragrant scent of her to his nose, and his smile slips from amused into something more fond.

Drawing her attention from the horizon, she sits up, moving to her knees to take the glass and wrap her hands around it, looking up to him. She's only enigma insofar as he doesn't know how to read her. Blue eyes search his face and she considers, looking thoughtful. "I am not sure, what do you wish to toast to?" Passing the buck. Her smile grows, those dimples showing again as she tilts her head and considers him. She lifts the wine to her nose to sniff it a moment.

Zachary is again caught off-guard. He considers for a moment, and then smiles a little. "To a pair of eyes that the skies themselves could not hope to rival. For a smile that is brighter and warmer than any sun I have seen. For a laugh that could make Hades himself laugh. And for my fortune that I have all of these things in one package in my life." And with that, he tilts his wine glass to her in gentle offering of his quickly offered toast.

"Oh, how lovely …who is she?" Eden teases and then touches her glass to his and sips at her wine before moving closer and reacing out to draw him closer to offer a kiss to his lips. "You are a poet too, you did not tell me." She whispers and searches his eyes. Her head tilts and she trails her teeth over her lip, teasing the flesh there a moment or two before she inhales and kisses him again. "So show me what artwork you have created today." She glances down to the basket as she settles back. Another sip of her win is taken.

"Oh, just this girl I met a few years back. Says she's a doctor, but every time I see her she's covered in dirt." Zachary teases back as he starts to lay out his offering to his personal goddess of unfufilled appetites. "You can make your own sandwich. Probably not like any sandwich you ever had before, though." he comments as the condiments and items are set out, along with the side items. And lastly, the small tray of desserts. "A picnic worthy of my girlfriend."

Her eyes widen and then she stares at the arrangement studying it before she leans forward to take a piece of melon wrapped in proscuitto. "Oh my, this looks divine." She admits and plops it into her mouth, chewing away on it and hmmming blissfully. She looks around as if for something. "Are you sure this is not a feast worthy of a queen," Pause as she covers her mouth while chewing. "Or perhaps a wife?" She smiles at him, those blue eyes have a devilish glint.

"Hmm." Zachary says, as he works on assembling a sandwich. "Well, you are a doctor and not a queen, fortunately, or I would fear that I would not be able to date you." he comments as he takes a bite of his sandwich. Her second part is fired off in a salvo. And it comes nowehere near Zachary's bow, instead sailing clear over his head. "A wife? No. I think I would have to add more to such a special feast for my wife. Perhaps some cold cheese and grapes, different flavors. Or a cold roasted herb chicken.." he says, looking up into her eyes. "But this would definetly be a good starter for it." Then again, maybe she did for a moment, get through that defense and get a good tag in on him.

"I see then, so this is a meal for a girlfriend." Eden is amused, but nods her head, suddenly taking a mocked serious expression. "Yes, I can see why now that you have painted it so clearly. Obviously there should be more cheese because by then a wife would be moldly and likely smell - but is always wanted because it adds refinement." She makes a motion. "Grapes…seedless I do hope."

"Of course.." Zachary says, but the tone suggests that he realizes that he may have just offended Eden. "Red and white seedless, because spitting seeds would not please my wife.. especially when she would possibly want to plant them later." he comments, trying to soften the blow he accidentally made. "But the cheeses.. mmm, brie, Virgon Manchega, gouda, farmers, teleme cheeses.. served with slices of lightly toasted baguette.. yes, such a thing would delight her, and make her realized that my love for her is just as wild and varied as my meals - that I am not just drawn to one part of her, but all of the wonderful things that make her so completely special to me." His dark blues study those stormy blues of hers, as he drains back his first glass of wine and starts on pouring a second.

"Ahhhh," comes Eden's reply before she takes a long drink of her wine and looks over the spread of food. "What a lucky woman than, to know such things. To be assured she is loved for all of her and not some. Such a thoughtful husband. But for now? Now I will enjoy our lovely picnic with wine. Watch the horizon and talk of silly things other then wives and cheese so I do not steal more of your nerve, yes?" THere is a kind smile and she reaches forward to take up another piece of melon that seems to agreew tih her.

"I would hope that she would know already that she is not the lucky one - that I am." Zachary says. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a little voice screams at him of blown opprotunities, but it's lost in all the confusion and logic of how Eden means just that much to him. As she reaches for the piece of melon, he leans into her and pays her a kiss, full and sweet on the mouth. "I love you." he says quietly, then pulls back, studying her. Before he turns and opens the bag again. Pulling out some items, he assembles the box kite that he brought once he saw the weather forecast.

The kiss, unexpected brings a smile to her lips and in a hushed tone she asks, "What was that for?" A light tease as she watches him assemble the kite. "I have never flown one," She finally admits before finishing off her wine and setting the glass aside. She doesn't go for seconds but rather scoots closer to get a look at it. Her knee brushes his leg in the event of her movement and causes her to consider him. "You are so thoughtful."

"I need a reason to show you affection or to tell you I love you or my desire to hold you?" Zachary murmurs in a playful parrot of her earlier words as she scoots closer to him, he offers her a smile. "You are in for a treat then." he says as he puts the pieces together, and digs out the string for the kite. "I grew up here, and know for a fact it's some of the best kite flying weather in all of the colonies. I hope that maybe when I have a wife, she'll consider having a child I can teach the art to." he murmurs, a glance over to her.

"Well played," Eden whispers back to him and then watches what he does with interest. "Oh is that so?" Comes her comment about a wife and child. "I see, so you mean to not teach the wife but the child. How devilish of you." She intones and then leans her head on his shoulder. "I suppose you will have to find a wife then, content on giving you a child and being fed cheese that supposedly expounds upon the fact she is worthy in every way." She grins, she can't help it. Her face turns and she nuzzles into his neck, kissing his skin as she harrasses him.

"If the wife is willing to learn, I will teach her.." Zachary says quietly towards her. He's slow, but maybe starting to come around as he finds himself so happily harassed as he tilts his head to her with a gentle gasp and the string drops from his hands for a moment. "…would you like to learn how to fly a kite, my dear Eden?" he asks her, hand reaching around to caress the exposed skin of her back.

The touch of his hand there at her bare back brings a sigh, "I would love to, Zachary," She says and kisses his neck again before turning those blue eyes up to his. Her gaze lingers, studying his face before she slowly leans in and places a sensual kiss to his lips. Undemanding in its make as she smiles for him. "Is that what you want to do?" She asks and without waiting for an answer, she starts to hop up to her feet, bouncinga bout, turning with a flare of skirts if she makes it.

"Good. Because it will be good for a wife to be able to pass down the ability to fly a kite to her husband's children if he has to be on duty when they want to go fly." Zachary says, oh so casually as he kisses her back, settling with her, as he watches her rise to feet and his smile is everything she could ever hope for. "I would love nothing more than to teach my wife how to fly a kite." And he leaves that hanging there as he picks up the strings and the kite, ready to walk out to the field with her.

"Well you have foresight then, Mister Sheperd…but I dare say I do not see a ring on your finger. Who is this lucky woman who will learn how to fly a kite today?" Eden asks as innocently as she can, eyes wide and bright and trying so hard not to let out a smile. She folds her hands behind her back and bends a bit at the waist while she hops and kicks the ground as if she might not be getting to learn today.

"Unfortunately I do not have a ring to offer to the woman that would wish to learn to fly kites so she can teach them to my children today. I did not realize that I should have had one in my picnic basket?" Zachary says as he takes the kite and tests the air direction before he takes a few steps and sends the kite skyward, tracing it's arcing flight upwards.

"You packed your basket, Mister Sheperd, not I. So maybe there is no wife yet but will take me as a humble replacement? I promise I will come be the awkward Aunt that spends far too much time with your kids and spoils them so you can receive them sugar rushed and ready to go." Eden smiles all the more at him and then looks upwards at the kite as it takes off, her smile breaking to show white teeth as she shields her eyes. She watches it glide up. "I wonder what its like to fly..like that."

"Yes, and you packed your own basket, Miss Ackerman." Zachary reports. She doesn't call him Captain, he doesn't call her doctor. "An Aunt? Well, your sister is rather attractive." he says casually, watching the kite fly higher and higher. And then, he hands the ball of string to Eden. "Keep it facing the wind, love." he says gently, standing behind her, pressing his chest to her back, his hands covering hers as he helps her control the kite. "But I think I got the pick of the Ackerman litter, my Eden." And with that, his fingers squeeze against hers.

He still knows how to send those butterflies up through her stomach and maybe thats why he's hung on so long. Eden can not help but smile, ducking her head a little as he comes in behind her and she strains with the string. "Good because if you dated my sister, or tried she might club you." That brings a grin as she looks back at him and forgetting the kite a moment she places a kiss to his lips. "I love you, Zachary Kite Flyer extraordinaire." She teases with a grin and brush of her nose.

Tilting down to return the kiss, Zachary brushes her nose in return. "And I love you, Eden Pick of the Litter Ackerman." A wink at that, and another kiss is given, before he steps back. "You have it? I'm going to go refill our wine glasses."

"Wine while flying? Isn't there some law against that?" She asks after him, turning her head to watch him go as a pit of nervousness coils up. She doesn't want to lose the kite or crash it for that matter and she quickly tries to adjust. She grumbles faintly as it nearly dives - giving it a hard tug to pull it against the wind and keep it aloft. A sigh leaves her and she calls back, "Make that a double..this is nerve wracking!"

"Careful love!" Zachary calls out, as he watches the kite's erractic flight. "Maybe you've already had too much." he teases her. "Use the string. Release more when it's taunt and wants to buck, pull it back in when you feel it falling!" The first glass filled finishes off the first glass of wine, so he turns his attention to Eden's basket, opening it up to fish out the second bottle and opener.

The instructions given, she does just as he asks, letting out a littles tring now that things are out of control. "So this is what you were first cleared to fly? Its a wonder you made it in one piece to pick me up and likewise get me off Pallus." She smirks and then feels it falling. She pulls back in, turning her body to take up the slack of the string to keep the kite in the air. "I think I got this…I perform better under stress anyways."

"Well, I was five when I got my official kite flying license." Zachary says casually as he roots into the basket and finds the bottle. "Sweetheart, where's the corkscrew?" he asks, turning the basket on it's side and shaking it to see if it will fall out. It should just be the wine and the corkscrew, right?

"I gave it to you, Zach…you used it on the last bottle." She looks over her shoulder and points. "Isn't it right over there…" But then the kite bucks and pulls. She makes a sound, "ZACHARY! I am losing it!" She is scrambling as the string rips from her hands and the ball is dragged across the ground, slowly unraveling as it goes. She makes another sound of surprise and rushes after it.

As Eden cries out, Zachary's heart leaps into his throat for a moment. And then he sees what's happening and he starts laughing. "Run faster, Eden!" he yells as he scrambles to get to his feet to go chasing after the string himself. He dives after it and smacks into the ground and slides, the string just out of his reach. The kite drifts and wafts on the currents and then -crash- it falls, right into the tree. And promptly gets stuck.

Zachary looks up from his stomach on the ground, and starts laughing even harder.

Eden comes to a skidding stop in barefeet next to him and stares up at the tree. "I'll get it…but that was worth seeing you dive.." She ruffles his hair and then moves for the tree, reaching up to grab the lowest branch and with no shoes, uses her feet to curl and grasp as she pulls herself up. Hooking her legs around that lower branch, she grins slightly upside down at him before she yanks herself up and into the tree itself, starting to climb. She's a little monkey!

Zachary lays on his stomach for a moment, watching Eden ascend the tree. Rising to his feet and dusting off, he moves to look upwards, but tries not to peek too much as the wind offers peeks up her sundress as she climbs higher and higher to the kite. He settles his hands in his pockets and just feels warm all over.

Like a cat, she scrambles across the branch and one breaks, falling to the ground as she wobbles. Well there went a handhold almost with her to the ground. She peers down at him and smiles reassuringly as she climbs outward, as it gets thinner, she takes care and then slowly edges out further, reaching but not wanting to get too far out on the branch as it creaks and sways. She manages to get the string and yanks, pulling back with it til the kite breaks free and starts to fall. She lets go of thes tring as it hits the ground and she begins to amble her way back.

Zachary ignores the kite hitting the ground, instead, with a glass of wine in his hand to offer her, he waits. When she gets close enough, he hands her the glass - the double she requested and then swallows. "Eden?" he asks gently. "When we first met, you suggested that we not call them dates, but experiments. And we have had several ones. Ones that have gone really well, some that needed to be retried for a better result. But one thing always remained the same. The variable and controls." he says, studying her eyes with his own. "..I.. think it is time that we end the experiments." There's a little smile on his face as he moves down to one knee in front of her. His hand leaves his pocket, and there's a small black box there.

"I think we should move to the practical applications of our experiment. To experiment with life. To learn what happens when we combine our chemicals to make a child. More than one if it works out well. I want to know what it means to come home and open the door and know you will be there. I can no longer live my life without my co-pilot." With that, he opens the box. Inside is a brilliant diamond solitaire, surrounded by garnets.

"Marry me, Eden Lisa Ackerman." he says quietly. "I want to always know that I will have my wife. My love. My best friend. And that she will always feel that she has me. I asked your father for permission when we were visiting. He agreed. This.. this was your grandmother's ring. Your mom gave it to me for you. I love you, Eden. Be my wife. Please."

Drawing closer to him, Eden is already laughing, brushing off bark and leaves from her feet, dress and hair. "I hope you weren't looking too closely…" Shet rails off though as he starts to talk and she reaches out for her wine slowly and lapses into silence. The wine is sipped from and then its slowly lowered as her lips part and shock shows on her features. It's when he gets to his knee that her smile breaks to show white teeth and that edge of giddy excitement begins to show itself. Eyes fasten on his and then the bod and then him again until opens.

Eyes water and she lifts her free hand to her mouth, brushing her lips to the fingers as he asks her. She knows its her grandmother's ring, she just stares at it a moment and then looks at him. "If you think I would say no, then you are a fool of course." She steps closer to him and slides her arms around him, going to her knees as well and jostling the wine, spilling it over her arm and his back as she presses a kiss to his lips.

It doesn't matter. She could have dumped the whole bottle over his head. She said yes. Zachary leans into the kiss as she gives it so freely, his arms wrapping around her as he weight even pushes him onto his back and he stares up at her with those beautiful blue eyes. He doesn't say a word, instead he takes her left hand, extracts the ring on the box, and with a very shaky hand from the usually stoic pilot, slips the ring on her finger.

Straddling him like that, she tosses her wine aside and gives him her hand practically. She watches him a moment, seeing him shake, she curls her newly decorated hands around his and leans down to kiss him. "I love you, Zachary." SHe says softly and kisses him a bit more firmly before she lifts her hand to look at the ring, holding it out and to the side of them as her other hand braces her up from the ground so he has some movement instead of being squashed beneath her. Slowly she lowers her head to his chest and rests it there, continuing to admire her ring on her hand.

His hand reaches down, stroking into her hair, petting her, as his heart pounds in his chest, even more than the first time they made love. "I love you too, Eden." he says, the smile clear even if she can't see his face as he caresses and strokes her. "Thank you." he finally says. "For being here. For being you."

She props her chin up on her hand to look at him as she grins and smiles at him. "Who else would I be? But…you are welcome." She pushes forward and places a kiss to his lips again, slowly deepening it as she wiggles against him and teases with a grin to break their mouths apart.

Realizing where it is heading, Zachary smiles up at Eden. "Perhaps we should get to the car." he murmurs, rising to his feet. But before he leaves, he pauses at the tree. He takes out a knife and carves their initials into it before he moves to take Eden by the hand and lead her away to the car and wherever they can find a nice secluded spot. It adds their initials to a tree marked with several dozen like markings where other proposals had happened.

January, 2005

The Raptor cut just over the treetops before coming across the plains and then over the valley. As it streaked over the valley, the prisoner camp was clearly seen, even as the Cylons and Centurions opened fire with their anti-aircraft weapons in an attempt to knock the bird down. As quickly as it streaked over, it was just as fast gone. One brave soul climbed up on top of the remains of a tree in the middle of the yard to wave towards the retreating Raptor. Once it was gone, though, he sighed, and slipped of.

The carvings of initials of newly found love had been joined by the initials of hundreds more. Survivors, hoping now that the Marriage Tree would lend them their strength to be their savior. Their Saving Tree.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License