So the story on this one is... I was failing to figure out how to take it sideways, and then I thought that maybe I should just do it the most straightforward way possible. I started trying that the other day... then let it sit a while... and then realized how fast the eleventh hour was approaching and dashed off the majority just now in order to finish. XD
Adoration and gratitude to eltea as always for a wonderful beta and for helping me bounce ideas around in the early stages. :)
“Hurry up, John, I’m starving.”
This is categorically untrue; she was sprinkling cashews and dried cranberries down her throat fifteen minutes ago.
The call winds its way to her eardrums from the kitchen, airy and unconcerned. “I can only put peanut butter on pickles so fast, sweetheart. They’re elusive.”
She loves that he still calls her ‘sweetheart’ despite the fact that she’s the most bloated, demanding bitch ever to walk the stained beige carpet of their hallways. Then again, she can blame a great deal of it on the rather smaller but no less demanding bitch tucked into her belly. They make a pretty good Bitch Team.
In two months, John is going to be doomed. The Apocalypse is nigh.
She leans back into the battered cushion of the couch and heaves her sock-feet up onto the tower of magazines—Time, Newsweek, and their shared guilty pleasure, TV Guide—that has recreated Pisa on the scarred surface of the coffee table. They’re going to have to wrap one of those protective runners around its edge pretty soon, the string-of-Christmas-lights-à-la-Michelin-M
So if said prospective daughter is like both of them…
Well, that’ll be fun.
Humming one of a thousand lullabies she’s undertaken to learn despite the fact that her voice is better suited to caterwauling, she lays her palms on her vast water balloon of an abdomen and spreads her fingers (long since having swollen too much to fit her rings) as far as they’ll go. There’s no commotion; perhaps her little Bitch Cadet is sleeping. Pretty soon, Mommy’s probably going to join her.
But not before she gets her peanut-buttered pickles, damn it.
“John, my love,” she sings—or rather, caterwauls.
“Momentarily, my own,” he sings back, passably, “I shall fulfill your wildest culinary dreams.”
John’s like that. He doesn’t howl “Don’t rush me, woman!”, because he is always, always, always considering who’s on the other end of his words, to the effect that he crafts them carefully to be soft, and safe, and kind. This is the warm world of Johnness that she has so gratefully settled into, and she can only hope that he knows how much she appreciates his allowing it to be real.
One of the big reasons she’s in this for the long haul is interwoven into all that: it would be a crying shame if this man didn’t have children. In that general vein, the universe at large would probably throw a hissy fit if his genes couldn’t frolic in the pool at least a few more times, making sure the other little genes didn’t start splashing each other in the eyes.
True to his word, John sashays into the living room, such as it is, and bows low, proffering a chipped ceramic plate of pickles meticulously spread with crunchy peanut butter. They are arranged in a smiley face.
“I am unworthy,” she says, grinning, but she almost means it.
He double-checks that she’s got a grip on the plate before he flops down next to her and lays a warm arm around her shoulders. “Your famishment makes you delusional,” he replies.
That, or it’s the hormones. Ah, the mysteries of pregnancy.
She snuggles in closer, and he touches his lips to her forehead. Something glows softly, and she thinks it might be her.