Baby, Mine. (Closed)

/ By Nullification [+Watch]

Replies: 463 / 1 years 178 days 17 hours 58 minutes 43 seconds

Under Construction

Just an idea I’m playing with.


She lost everything so quickly, she thought she was on track and then it happened. A miscarriage. Poor weight being the main thought of many doctors but of course it was never that black and white with such things.

She struggles thinking there was something she could do. Blames herself. Perhaps even her significant other.

Could she have eaten more?

Could she have skipped that one pizza takeout?

Could she have been healthier?

Could she have avoided holidays?

Could he have been better?

Could she have done anything different?

Could she have saved that little soul?

We’re they just that unlucky?

They need to overcome it but she seems to have hit the self-destruction button. The couple spirals downwards together, argues every day, everything seems to go wrong so quickly. Then.... she falls pregnant again.

This time will be different.

This time she’ll do everything, to the point of obsession almost.

Meanwhile, he feels like a sideline in his own life. He can only watch for fear of shattering already brittle glass.
All the while he wonders if perhaps he could have helped, he could have made her better the first time.

9 months stands between them and a family.

39 weeks.

273 days.

Old injuries resurface.

This time will be different.

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Roleplay Responses

Who was she kidding? Ariana didn’t know but anything was better than being miserable. She had spent so long being told by everyone to move on, to look to the future and now that she was trying to, it was like everyone wanted her to be doubtful. She watched Gary come downstairs and she didn’t say anything. She was trying to be accepting of his moods and his tempers but it was getting difficult. Ariana busied herself with dinner, appetite at least somewhat present.

She cleared the bowl and watched Gary retreat to the couch to see what was on television. For a split second, she opened her mouth but promptly closed it, it wasn’t worth the fight anymore. The last time she had offered up a fight on her behalf, things had ended viciously and with one of them in hospital. Guilt pricked are her emotions then, turning to do the dishes and setting them away. This wasn’t easy for either of them.

Ariana dried her hands and sank onto the couch, warily. Gary was a simmering pot threatening to boil over.
“I’m not-“ She sighed softly and chewed her lip, second guessing herself. She had started though.
“I’m not trying to kid anyone. I know the risks.” She said, doing her best to keep her tone soft. She didn’t want this to be a fight.
“I’ve been over the risks a million times in my head... but what’s the alternative?” It was a rhetorical question, she wouldn’t ever get rid of a child like that and it was too far gone now anyway.
“I know we have problems, I know there’s issues and risks...” She trailed off as she bit back her own emotions.

“And I messed up our first chance. And the aftermath, everything. I want to be optimistic and hopeful.” She murmured, if she wasn’t hopeful and optimistic then the alternative was being worried constantly and in a state of despair. She didn’t want to do that but she wouldn’t pretend everything was alright either. Ariana fidgeted slightly, uncomfortable with being so open because it somehow felt selfish while Gary was recovering but she didn’t want him to think that she was taking this lightly.
What if we don't lose anything? Gary wanted to laugh, nearly rolled his eyes but just looked away in the end. That was a tall order and Ariana knew it. The odds of everything turning out with everyone healthy at the end of the journey was slim. Even if the child was born alright, they wouldn't know what adverse effects the pregnancy and labour were going to have on Ri's body. Might. Rocky and muddled. Sure.
"Who are you kidding, Ri?" Gary started, unable to hold it in.
Rather than indulge his foul mood, Ariana change the topic of conversation to that of food. Gary wasn't even sure why that annoyed him, but it did. They kept avoiding this conversation, this room and the fact that Ariana might lose her life or be disabled for the remainder of it. Ariana retreated before he could snarl out what she could do with dinner and Gary sighed, pushing his hair back. His crutch clattered to the floor. He clenched his jaw and took in a deep breath, trying to let go of the anger and frustration. It was difficult when reality laughed in his face the second he opened his eyes again.
Was there even room for both their grief and the new baby?

Gary looked over the items that they had and decided that this weekend he was going to start on working out what needed to go into storage and what could stay. Somehow, some way, they needed to get this process going. Just watching it and revelling in their pain wasn't going to do much. Maybe Ariana was right to just bite the bullet -on her own- and get things done. Together, the small room would've been too cramped for both their feelings. They were never on the same page with their emotions in that way and maybe that bothered him more than this whole affair still did. It'd become a far more immediate worry for sure.
Gary knew he was at least half of that problem.
With a sigh he started to work out how to crouch down and reach for the fallen crutch. When he finally got it, Gary slowly made his way down the stairs and into the living. Food was already set out. With some balancing, Gary took his bowl and set it on the dining table for dinner. It was probably best if he didn't try and instigate more discussions by talking, heavens forbid. He started to realize that running was even worse than Ariana's infuriating silence. At least she wasn't crying this time around. Gary toyed with his food, but the lingering headache made his appetite a bit passive. He did clear the bowl in the end, almost unnoticed as well. Gary looked out the window, loathing the darkness winter brought along with it. Maybe Spring would be nicer to them. He stole a glance at Ri, then sighed. Being forced to slow down and sit inside was driving him stir-crazy.
Gary scrubbed at his face and got up, moving to the couch. Maybe there was something nice on.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 14h 15m 49s
Gary looked completely lost at sea and Ariana wasn’t buying his ‘yeah, I’m okay’ because she knew he likely wasn’t, but he wouldn’t admit anything to suggest otherwise. Her toes touched the threshold of the room but she didn’t enter, at least for now. A little stunned by his words about it not being worth it. She hesitated, unsure of how to answer him. She couldn’t assure him her life, or that everything would be okay. She couldn’t even assure him a son at the end of all this, and it was harrowing and upsetting to think that despite all the hardships they had endured.

“What if we don’t lost anything?” Ariana interjected, hesitantly almost. It was a slim possibility that everything would turn out rosey and completely fine, but it was a chance none the less. They could be optimistic, at least. She knew the risks, she had been over them time and time again in her mind, running them over and worrying that history would would repeat itself once more. Couldn’t they live off of a little hope for a while?
“It might alright, a bit rocky and muddled to get there but at the end everything could be fine.” She said to her husband.

If Ariana failed this time around, she knew it would be the last straw and she was terrified of going back to that place of grief and loss once more. She didn’t expect her and Gary would stay together very long if such an occurrence happened again, even their love unable to patch up unseen injuries. Ariana looked around the nursery, it didn’t seem like a nursery, maybe it would when everything was put together again with fresh love and hope.

Soft green eyes went back to Gary, dinner was starting to smell but she didn’t want to leave him here looking so lost.
“Do you want to come for dinner?” She asked him, quietly. If he needed some time then he could have it and she knew his temper could flare like if he was a overloaded lately so she simply gave him a choice. Ariana retreated then, heading down to rescue dinner from becoming cremated as she busied herself. Was it worth it? In her opinion, yes.

Ariana mixed the cut chicken in with the pasta and the sauce, setting it into two bowls and brewing some of the ginger tea Hannah had advised so that with any luck her stomach wouldn’t rebel in the morning.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 18h 12m 9s
Caught, Gary let his fingers slide back to the crutch and looked back over his shoulder. "I..." A sigh. At this point, though Ariana's question was a valid one, Gary wasn't even sure what she was asking after. Gary defaulted to the standard, "yeah, I'm okay," even though he wasn't sure himself where he was at. His head hurt, his leg felt uncomfortable and there were other minute physical complaints that Ri probably didn't want to know about and mentally. Well, mentally he'd just melted down that afternoon and he was quickly trying to provoke a second occurance by venturing into the lion's den. The sense of reality being an overwhelming experience shot through his being and clung there, as it had during the drive back home.
"I don't know," he said, equally frustrated as he was defeated. They needed to do something about the room, both of them were well aware, but Gary couldn't find the physical or mental strength to find a beginning. He'd tried on numerous occasions and now the room was all but gutted by Ariana's latest outburst, which was at the very least...something.

Gary shifted the crutches around so he could properly look at Ariana, but even then it felt awkward. His eyes drifted to Ri's stomach, where her growing bump would betray her condition to anyone who knew Ariana. She was too thin still.
"Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it," Gary found himself saying and he wasn't even sure why. His throat closed up at the implication of what he'd said and Gary tried to swallow away the lump that had now taken permanent residence. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. A flash of anger tore through his limbs and was left simmering without a proper outlet. Gary knew he shouldn't and couldn't act upon those feelings. They didn't even feel warranted or his, not entirely. Logically, he knew nothing could've been done, but god damn it if they could.

"It's not worth losing you over," Gary said, blue eyes wide and open, maybe a little lost. Vulnerable. His head still hurt. His hands trembled around the crutches' bars. It'd been a stupid night when he'd come home drunk and made love to Ariana. He hadn't been thinking about the repercussions. Didn't think it had a chance anyway, not with Ri's physical condition what it was, but her body thought differently. First it had betrayed them by rejecting their firstborn and next it had again, by giving them this cock-tease of a chance at this imaginary happiness. Gary knew the birth of their second wouldn't solve a thing between them. All the things that had been wrong before Ri's pregnancy were only likely to blow up in their faces after the child was born.
Not for the first time in the weeks after he'd come home from hospital did Gary feel the need to just step out and leave it all behind, just so he didn't have to think about it all.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3d 15h 53m 7s
Ariana watched Gary head upstairs and she figured it was best to give him peace for now and let him rest if he was tired. They had both kept themselves busy the past couple of days. Ariana figured without Gary around she could get some work done before bothering with dinner. She opened her laptop at the kitchen table and tapped her way through some emails, some social and some business. She wrote up a quick one to her boss and explained she would pop by tomorrow for a quick catch up. Exchanged emails went on for a while and Ariana had lost track of time, a half cup of tea going cold at her side.

Ariana rubbed her temple after a while and closed the laptop, glancing to the time and wondering where it had gone exactly. She got to her feet and started on dinner, chicken and pasta seemed good enough and light enough on her stomach not to cause any grief in the morning. She set the chicken in the oven and the pasta on a low heat before hearing movement upstairs. She turned the radio down low and checked the settings on the oven before creeping upstairs to make sure everything’s was alright. In hindsight she should have brought some water and his painkillers but she figured she could manage that later.

She was a little surprised to find Gary in the nursery, pausing and wondering whether this was where he would want alone time or not. She took a deep breath and knew that her time of weakness had passed for now and Gary would need some strength too, not that he would ever admit to such a thing. Ariana stepped towards the door and watched him in silence for a while.
“Gary?” She murmured, breaking the heavy silence, “You okay?” She tested. She wasn’t sure what emotional range he would slot into right then. Ariana didn’t step into the room and would gladly retreat if Gary needed time and space to get whatever thoughts were in his head straightened out right then.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 5d 11h 37m 34s
Rain lashed against his skin the second they stepped outside. Gary squinted at the influx of light regardless, trying to hold back the sun from piercing his skull. He was only mildly successful and a little more clumsy getting into the car than he already was with the crutches and everything else. Silence reigned during the drive. Gary felt a bit disoriented and closing his eyes didn't really help the situation, so he stubbornly stared out the window, watching the droplets swoop away with each rise and fall of the wipers. Ri went on ahead of him into the house and Gary lumbered behind, slowing down in favour of fumbling his steps. It was cold inside the house.

"I'm having a nap," Gary let Ri know.
That way she could do her own thing for a while, like the work she'd said she might. Gary considered the couch for a long second, but sighed out and ventured up the stairs instead. He passed by the baby-room without even looking inside, going straight for the bedroom. Once there, he shed his shoes and lifted his feet up. He was out of breath form the stairs and the journey out. Sterling's warning still floated about his head; the warnings about him taking things a little easy haunting his thoughts. More than that was floating about his head, which felt crowded with shreds of conversations, memories and emotions. Gary tried to relax and let it all wash over him, aimlessly staring at the ceiling of their bedroom.
The heating was coming on, aiding his plight only marginally. Gary tossed an arm across his eyes to try and block out the light and temper his headache. He was only mildly successful. It felt worse than a hangover again.

With nothing to stimulate his ailing mind however, sleep crept in. Never more than a doze, in which he was low-key aware of what was going on in the house: very little. Rain lashed against the window in angry gusts of wind pounding the side of their house. Cars wooshed by in wet sprays and Gary could hear the ticking and groaning of the pipes as they heated the house. His mind slowed. The thoughts became less chaotic, less panicked and overbearing. The bedroom became a dull grey in the shadow of the overcast skies and Gary drowsily blinked at the clock. Several hours had passed. He must've fallen asleep at some point for it to be that late.
The headache never quite left, but it was manageable now. Gary sat up slowly, testing out the waters. When nothing protested more so than he'd gotten used to, Gary reached for his crutches and got up. This time when he passed the baby-room however, he nudged open the door to look inside. Nothing had changed since that morning. He wandered inside and ran his fingers over the new mobile Lisa had gotten. Why was it so difficult to just move forward from all what had been?
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 7d 17h 3m 19s
Ariana could see the day was starting to tax Gary’s system more than he would care to admit and she figured it was time to go home. Gary was right, they would need to look at what they required for the nursery and what wouldn’t be needed. It would be difficult and every part of Ariana wanted to put it off, put it off and pretend it was fine and shut the door of the nursery again. The child growing within her was a sign that they couldn’t do that, they were on a limited stretch of time and she sighed softly. She didn’t press anything else, and she wondered if Gary knew it was okay to struggle with speaking about the nursery and his physical injury.

Ariana thanked the waitress as she settled the bill and fixed her jacket to keep out the chill blowing in from the ocean. Clouds had floated in, crammed together by the conflicting winds and when she exited the little café, she could feel rain starting to come down. Ariana unlocked the car and made a mental note to call Lisa and pick up Gary’s car tomorrow. At least his car was okay, there wouldn’t be a wreck to pick up that would be a nasty reminder of the accident. It was a small blessing that Ariana hadn’t witnessed the crash, not that the aftermath was any better and she ignored the memory of him looking so broken in that hospital bed, bruised and battered.

The rain was really falling hard by the time she parked up outside and the temperature had dropped but thankfully not enough to turn it to snow. She bundled inside the house, shedding her coat and shivering as she upped the heating in the house. Ariana didn’t expect anything else would be happening today, given Gary’s exhaustion and she had no doubt it was left over from yesterday. She knew how quickly his moods could change when under pressure and so she stayed quiet, glancing to him occasionally as she got herself a glass of juice.

Content enough, Ariana sank onto the couch and set her glass on the table, letting the warmth seep into her limbs as the rain drummed down outside, painting tracks on the windows. It was relaxing, in a way, to be home and comfortable as the weather turned a little worse for wear outside. Ri got comfortable and rested her hands on the ever growing bump, switching her gaze to the quiet television. Work could wait, at least for now if she was dropping in tomorrow to say hi to everyone.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 9d 20h 26m 53s
Most of it. Gary flinched at that. It stung to recall Ri had done that all by herself, without waiting for his help or anything else. Out of spite more than anything else. He knew that much. Gary worried the tea-cup with his fingers and took a deep breath.
"We should see what things we can use and which we won't," Gary pointed out. That way, they could see what still needed to happen. Now that the room was mostly clear, taking out the bigger pieces of furniture to do up the walls wouldn't be that much more of a chore. Of course, he couldn't lift anything at the moment, since he'd need both legs for that. Currently, he couldn't even put any weight on his broken leg.
Maybe at the next checkup he ought to ask whether he was allowed to at least touch the ground with the cast. It'd already make things a lot easier if he could just rest the cast every now and then while being upright.
"We can store what we won't use away for... safe keeping," he offered with a sigh. Gary finished his tea and sat back, wincing when it pulled something on his leg.
"We could look at some wallpaper or paint," Gary ventured. They could even do a theme. Not that the baby would mind. He fully expected Ariana to go hormonal and change her mind a thousand times before there was no more time to do so. At first, the baby was more likely to sleep in their bedroom regardless. If they were allowed to take the baby home after the birth. A c-section this time. That was a pretty stressful surgery. He didn't like the idea of Ariana having to be cut into in order to give birth to their child.
No rush. Right. There were still a couple of months to go before the child was born. If it was born. Gary followed Ariana's gaze out to the ocean and let silence take hold again. The headache that'd been following him around since that morning was threatening to overpower the painkillers he'd taken and Gary closed his eyes. The world seemed a little too sharp and bright. Overwhelming.
The waitress roused him from his temporary rest, clearing away his plate.
"Could we get the bill, please?" he offered. He was done for today. Yesterday had been too much and it was obvious.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 9d 21h 23m 32s
Ariana watched him, green eyes careful to take in each detail because she didn’t want to push him too far and he would end up over the ledge. It seemed difficult to think how they would want the nursery and this was new territory. She didn’t want it the exact same way as before, this was a new child not a replacement. She thought for a while, they had some new bits and bobs from Lisa and her father and she hadn’t even gone over the hamper her father had gotten her. They hadn’t known the gender back then, though.

“Yeah, most of it.” She said and thought back. It had been a fit of emotion that spurred her actions and she wasn’t sure she had actually thought about what she was doing at the time. It was a blur of memory, like watercolours dappling a fresh canvas.
“I don’t know where to start.” She said, honestly. Starting would be the problem, no doubt. Ariana ran a hand through the strands of hair that had fallen loose from the ponytail she had tried to keep the waves confined in. Her eyes drifted to the vast expanse of blue ocean, thinking properly for a long time about what they wanted the nursery to be.

“I guess, we know he’s a boy.” She pointed out, they could tailor the nursery more for a little boy.
“Lisa got him a cute little mobile, stars and planets.” She murmured although she guessed that could be tailored to any gender. She wanted this to be perfect, or as perfect as possible and maybe she was overthinking it and trying to make it all too perfect and too precise. Ariana found it a little too easy to lose herself in the sight from the ocean, afraid of reality slightly.
“There’s no rush. We can just do whatever feels right.” She commented eventually.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 10d 19h 14m 44s
Not just saying it, huh? Gary figured he'd be the judge on that, but went along with Ri's soothing because she was ordering and most likely having food. As if to confirm his doubts, Ariana went shy about her resolve of working a few hours that afternoon. Gary was finished long before Ariana and watched her eat for a short while, before letting his gaze roam the establishment. Black boards had the menu of the day scribbled on it in neat lettering and there were some beach-themed ornament bolted to the walls and ceilings.
The nursery?

"I- I'd wanted to see what it needed done today," Gary said. Even if he wasn't ready for actually doing anything, neither bodily or mentally, at least he could review how much work it was.
"I just..." A sigh left his lips, and Ri waived his need to say anything with a few guilty words. "No, it's... we need to do it." Soon, Ariana would want to 'nest'; have everything ready for the baby and Gary did too. Just in case the last leg of the pregnancy took its toll on Ariana's frail body.
"We should talk about how we want it," Gary pushed through his initial resistance. They could beat about the bush for an eternity and not get anywhere. Now that Ri was actually willing to move on, Gary felt like he had to take this opportunity and run with it, rather than flee from it. And they'd fled from one another for far too long now.

He adjusted his leg a little and raked a hand through his hair. They still had some of the furniture they'd considered at first; a nice drawer-chest, the crib and some other things gifted to them by family from before. Some things would always be their first child's, so they'd need to leave the room and be put elsewhere, so that the room could be cleared for its new inhabitant.
No. It dawned on Gary. Ri had cleared the room before the accident. He'd almost forgotten.
"You packed some things, didn't you? Everything?" Gary ventured. "It feels like ages ago." His time-perception hadn't been what it should be for a while after the accident, so Gary attributed his warped sense of time to that. He let silence steep for a while and drank his tea. One step at a time. First would be to cross the threshold and stop thinking of that room as the baby's. It'd be their son's now.
It wasn't forgetting, but rather moving on and there was no reason to feel guilty about that.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 12d 17h 21m 33s
Ariana watched Gary, he certainly seemed content enough but it didn’t stop the worrying. She wasn’t sure when the worry would stop, she knew that worked both ways and she had been worried about Gary for a long time before the accident. The late nights he had been out drinking, sometimes a couple of days before he would come home and the distance they had faced even in the same space. She still worried it would go back to how it had been before, when Gary was healed and more able. She shook the thought free of her mind as she took a drink from the hot tea.
“I’m fine, really. And I’m not just saying it.” She pointed out with a small smile.

His question about whether she was working made her think.
“We’ll see how lunch plays out.” She pointed out because her system had been unreliable for the most part. She had a sneaking suspicion that milk was the cause of most of her morning sickness but she just hoped it would start to calm down the next few weeks. She eyed lunch as it was set down and felt her stomach grumble at the offerings because a small breakfast had left her wanting.

Ariana was careful not to go too quick, everything seemed like a mountain and right now soup and sandwich was to be conquered slowly and steadily. She was at least grateful that Gary seemed a lot better after the treatment than last time.
“When do you want to start the nursery?” She asked him, the words falling from her lips quicker than she could catch them. She figured it was a sore spot, given Gary’s avoidance of the room entirely. They couldn’t put it off for much longer but she also didn’t want to rush Gary into this.

“No rush, I just... forget it.” She tumbled over her words as she tried to sweep the question under the proverbial rug. She didn’t want this to be a band aid over what once had been, she wanted to do this properly and whilst she was not over the death of their first child, she so desperately wanted this one to work out and for them to have some small shred of happiness.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 14d 14h 27m 8s
How was work? Gary let out a sigh and ran his eyes over Ariana.
"It was good to be back," he said with a wan smile. Tiring, but good. And familiar too. And so very obviously too much. Gary wondered how he'd kept up with it all this time, working the long hours he had before the accident.
"Not as productive as I'd have hoped," Gary joked as the waitress came up to their table to put down their tea. He looked up and then at the menu and though this time it was legible, Gary decided he'd have what Ri was having.
"Two of those," he relayed to the waitress and turned his attention back to his wife.
She still seemed a little pale, a detail that didn't go unnoticed as she cautiously nipped from her tea. Gary added some sugar to his tea and let it steep to become nice and dark before pouring in some milk.

"You feeling better now?" Gary inquired lightly, still low-key worried, but also eager to see Ariana well. If morning sickness is all this was, Ri feeling ill wasn't likely anything they could help. In time, maybe they'd be able to suss out which foods upset her stomach in the morning, but it'd be like rolling dice. A yawn threatened and Gary rested back a little, enjoying the sunlight filtering in through the window as wind whipped holes in the clouds otherwise covering their view of the sky. Light played across the ocean, creating an interesting game of shadow and light on the waves.

"A lot of people came by yesterday to say hi. Hopefully that'll taper off the next few days," Gary said, resting his chin on his hand. He stirred his tea with a distracted stare and ventured a taste. It wasn't bad.
"Are you working today?" he tried, finding conversation a bit difficult to come by. His head was just strangely empty, depleted of any interesting thoughts. Exhausted would be the better turn of phrase for how he felt and Gary knew he had himself to blame for that. Both of them would have to try a little better at the whole going back to work thing however, seeing as they'd have a little one to tend to if everything went alright. Soon enough their unwillingness to believe this child might be born healthily would become their undoing. Rather, they ought to be preparing.
Gary sighed out and wished he could do something more. If only he hadn't been involved in that accident. They could be redoing the baby-room right now. He could take over some of Ariana's chores, or at least stand up to her when she was tidying up something silly when she ought to be resting. Now, Gary was fairly certain she did all of those things whenever he was asleep. The word stubborn came to mind for a second.
Before long, their soup arrived and Gary wasted no time digging in. At least his appetite had recovered after the treatment earlier that week.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 14d 17h 8m 18s
Ariana was careful with driving, but she knew the route fairly well so wasn’t overly worried. She glanced to Gary in the passenger side and was a little perplexed that he seemed so awake, knowing full well he had taken to dozing on car journeys lately. Ariana parked up and headed inside, the salted air was refreshing as was the cooler air that blew in from the ocean. She liked this place, it was always fairly quiet and served for ice views. Although, she couldn’t remember the last time they had been here together.

Ariana eyes the menu, deciding a herbal tea was safer than risking milk and dairy, just in case. She felt fine, but didn’t want to undo everything from that morning.
“Just a herbal tea.” She explained to the waitress as she set the menu down and glanced out the window at the waves crashing over the shores. Fresh air was good, despite the slight chill and it was nice to feel normal for a change. To anyone else they were just a couple, one of them involved in an unfortunate accident given the cast. Ariana said her green eyes back to the table and her husband. Asking how he was didn’t seem right, somehow.

“How was work, yesterday?” She asked him, making for pleasant conversation at least. Had she asked already? She couldn’t recall. The waitress returned in a flurry of bright smiles to set down their beverages and gave them a few minutes to think about whether they wanted to eat or not. Appetite rekindled, Ariana ordered the day’s soup, tomato, which came with a sandwich. A hearty enough lunch, but she wasn’t sure she would finish it.

“Thanks.” Ariana said to the waitress in passing as she tested the temperature of her tea, hesitantly but she figured after a small taste that it was safe. The last time they had gone out together apart from hospitals had been New Years Eve, at the time enjoyable but the day after had been a worrisome affair. Before that, Ariana wasn’t sure. They had forgotten to simply enjoy each other, somewhere along the lines.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 16d 23h 5m 20s
Lunch?
"Am I hearing that right?" Gary teased lightly. Ri mentioning food, rather than just tea or whatever else was light on her stomach. Rather than remain stuck in cynicisms, Gary shook his head and agreed, "sure." Slower than Ariana, Gary got ready to leave the house. A singular shoe and coat was all he needed, and his wallet. It too had seen better days. There were some speckles of what Gary assumed was blood staining the dark brown leather. He relied on Ariana to bring keys, a little lost on where his own were at the moment, considering they weren't in his coat-pocket.

Fresh air hit his face once they stepped outside.
Gary took a deep breath and felt a little more awake for it. Despite the slight overcast, the light outside was still enough to sting his eyes after having spent so much time indoors. He picked his way over to the car and settled inside, waiting for Ariana to join and drive them to whatever destination she had in mind.

Slowly but surely, he could tell they were getting closer to the beach. Seagulls dotted the sky, salt was tangible on the air. What was more remarkable was that he still remained awake. Lately, all he'd been doing inside cars was fall asleep. Slow but sure steps paved the way to recovery. Gary started to appreciate the little details; being outside, being able to go places, not being in constant pain or suffering from some sort of drowsiness.

The ocean breeze was even thicker once he stepped out of the car. He wasn't exactly going to be able to take a nice walk across the beach, but Gary knew where they were going by now. A familiar set of doors beckoned him to step inside. Weekdays kept the crowd to a minimum, though there were still a few couples inside the cafe. He looked around for a nice spot and found a reasonably quiet table for the two of them near the window. Movement was key. His muscles felt a little less sore for having walked even that short a distance, or maybe the painkillers had something to do with that. Either way, he felt a little better for being out.

Gary settled in, propping his leg up on one of the spare chairs at their table and unfolded the menu. Movement outside the window caught his attention and distracted him long enough for a waitress to come around to their table.
"Care for anything to drink?" she asked with a kind smile.
Gary blinked back to reality and glanced at the menu, then shook his head, "I'll have some tea," he said without ever having read the menu.
  Gary Jenkins / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 1h 36m 38s
Ariana was stumped for words when Gary mentioned the reminder the nursery held. She hadn’t even thought about herself and how she might have looked in that hospital bed. She didn’t even remember feeling sick or in pain, it just all felt numb at the time. She did remember the look on Gary’s face, and the doctors. She didn’t know what to tell him because she couldn’t guarantee it would be any different this time. Before she could get a word out, Gary was on his feet and fumbling for crutches and painkillers. Ariana watched him and sighed softly, what if it did all happen again? Their marriage wouldn’t survive it.

Gary’s question brought her back to reality properly.
“Huh?” She looked a little perplexed at his question and glanced to the clock. Maybe going out for lunch or something would make them feel a little more human and the fresh air might rekindle Ariana’s appetite.
“Sure, we can get some lunch if you want?” There was still a slight awkwardness between them, somehow. She got up and stretched, figuring she should change her clothes at least.

Ariana headed up the stairs and pulled on some jeans and a cosy jumper to keep the little bit of the chill out. She stepped back downstairs as she pulled her waves into a ponytail and looked to Gary,
“Gary-“ She said quietly, a gentle attempt to grab his attention. She wanted to tell him that she wasn’t going anywhere, that everything would be okay but she couldn’t do it. She would be lying to give him such promises. She just offered an awkward smile to him and waved off whatever train of thought she had started.

“There’s that little cafe down near the beach. It’s a nice day.” Ariana said as she switched up topics to the here and now. Ariana plucked her coat from the hook and wrapped herself in its layers, spring was going to be in the air soon enough. Ariana figures she would drive, it wasn’t a long drive and she guessed it would be quiet.
  Ariana Jenkins / Nullification / 19d 6h 14m 6s
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