Tuesday today? Gary narrowed his eyes at Ri, then considered the days leading up until it being a Tuesday and shook his head at the effort. Then...his appointment would be soon too, huh? Had it already been seven days ago since he'd had the treatment? Was it the same day? Gary massaged his temple and finally caught on to Ariana pointing out where the pills were with the spoon. Water conveniently appeared and Gary could only sigh out.
"Thanks, Ri," he breathe before washing down a single tablet. One ought to suffice in suppressing the headache he nursed currently.
He huffed. Big stories?
"Doubt it. I'll be running background stories and verifications for weeks, I bet," Gary refuted Ri's promise. Maybe when he could manage on one crutch would he finally be allowed anywhere at all interesting, but even then he could hardly drive himself there, could he?
"Can't wait to get rid of the cast," he murmured softly. A weary smile was all he had to offer Ariana as he dragged a hand down his face and put the water where it belonged. His hands sought for the crutches and guided his shuffle out of the kitchen. Food smelled good and distracted his thoughts away from the upcoming few months of boredom incarnate. He'd have to deal with his mates getting all the best jobs to boot. Gary could already picture their glib faces.
Unlike Ri, Gary had no doubts about what to do with the food set out in front of him. He occasionally glanced at Ariana to make sure she tried, pleased when she finally did. When he was almost finished, he let his fork dangle above what was left, observing Ariana's eating habits with mild concern. She'd eaten alright, but was it enough? Some days she was fine. Some days Gary knew Ri ate too little to sustain a healthy weight. It'd always be somewhat of a struggle, especially now, when her hormones robbed her of any lingering appetite.
Gary reached out and brushed his fingers by Ariana's wrist, gently grazing the skin.
He felt a little caught the next moment and pulled away, finishing his food. "Are you looking forward to the scan?" he asked, just to make conversation. When was the last time they'd actually talked with one another? Other than simply announcing their needs or desires?
"I think I'll take my dad up on his offer to do up the baby-room," Gary started. His leg would take weeks and frankly, he wanted to get started on that room sooner rather than later. Maybe Mike could help them move some stuff and put the crib together.
"Think Lisa would help paint?" he offered.
Food, right. Ariana left a few bits and pieces out of the bags as she pondered on what to have. Noodles and chicken sounded great right then as she set about, cutting up some peppers to fashion a stir fry. She glanced over to her husband, not at all minding his lack of help.
“Thursday.” She murmured, rather excited at the prospect of seeing the black and white image again, as if each scan was a reassurance that the beating heart wasn’t quelled or fading anytime soon.
“It’s Tuesday today.” She reminded him, and herself because everything had seemingly become a little bit of a runaway train lately.
Ariana set the heat down slightly as she fiddled with a wooden spoon, stirring the ingredients of the hot pan and looking bewildered as Gary invaded her space, searching for something. It wasn’t hard to guess what he was searching for as she pointed with the spoon to the top drawer where the medications were kept and got him a glass of water to wash down the dastardly pills. She set it on the kitchen table before turning her attention back to preparing dinner. She’d take those vitamins after dinner, she made a note to try and remember as she switched off the heat, scooping the stir fry onto some plates and setting some cutlery down.
“They’ll have you chasing down some big story in no time.” Ariana said conversationally as she set the plates down and took a seat herself, looking thoughtful.
Of course it was still a concern he might overdo it but they couldn’t stay wrapped up in a bubble forever. She supposed working made little difference to the end outcome, whatever would happen, would happen regardless of their worries and concerns. Ariana fiddled with her food for a while before her appetite sparked. It would be nice to see Gary working again, he had always been a busy body with a penchant for hunting down stories. He likely missed his friends as well, and she couldn’t blame him. It would be nice to catch up with the girls tomorrow and thankfully, none of which would be Lisa. Lisa was her sister and she loved her dearly but Ariana knew her sister could be scathing when the mood suited her.
A quiet trip, was it? Gary snorted, shaking his head, sorting out his crutches and getting settled in the chair. It was just a headache, he told himself. Once he'd drank some water and they'd had their dinner, he was sure to feel better. Grocery shopping was a strenuous task, that much was for sure, even if Ariana was used to it.
Gary pushed his hair back. He felt caught out. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine," he sighed out in regards to work. It should be fine. He'd taken it easy all day, so if he wasn't fine for working now, then when would he be?
"It's only a morning, isn't it?" Gary pointed out. Unlike last time, maybe he honestly ought to just keep it to said morning though. Gary sighed out and pointedly stared out the window. Maybe he could do three mornings next week. Leave the afternoons to rest up. Slow steps. Or well. Gary cursed his crutches.
Ri carried their haul inside and Gary was once again left to feel frustrated and useless as she did so. He sank down at the kitchen table and watched Ariana unpack the items they'd gotten.
"Yeah, food sounds good," Gary agreed. Unlike Ri, his appetite didn't quite suffer the same under stress or frustration. Actually, now that he didn't frequent the pub as often, he was feeling hungrier than ever. By the time he'd return to work, he'd be proper fat. And so would Ri, Gary thought with a smirk. Hopefully.
Gary zoned out a little, letting his headache carry his thoughts away. He was tired and not at the same time. His body was well-rested, even with the break and sleep wasn't at the forefront of his mind at all. Still, his frazzled brain had obviously had enough. Gary realized that he'd run into that invisible limit more often while he recovered. At least his leg would complain and be sore, but his headaches would just come and go as they pleased, with no particular cause or solution.
"When is your scan?" Gary pitched, well aware he'd asked that question several times over. It felt as if he just couldn't put it into his head what day it was now and what days they had their appointments at the hospital. Everything just sort of washed together into one uncomfortable blur, in which only the happiness for Ri's pregnancy stood out. Gary stood, invading Ri's personal space in search of an aspirin. He ought to bring some to work tomorrow, just in case. He didn't want to worry his colleagues too much.
Ariana figures the shopping list was no different from the other times she had gone shopping so most of it was memorised save for the odd item. She let Gary pick up whatever he wanted that she had left off the list, whatever helped. She did notice Gary starting to flag slightly towards the end and took over, being as subtle as she could because she didn’t want him to think she was pandering or that he had let her down with such a simple task. He had tried and he had done well, Ariana surmised as she got the last few items and double checked as everything was scanned through.
Fresh air was welcome, despite the chill as she headed to the car to put the bags in the back seat. She looked to Gary with a smile,
“That was a quiet trip.” She pointed out. It never really occurred to her that she did most of the grocery shopping, then again Gary could work more hours than her and often a lot later if there was something juicy to chase. She glanced over the top of the car to see Gary looking a little stricken and lost. She wanted to ask if he was okay but it would be fruitless, she supposed as she got into the drivers side and started the car. She switched the radio down a little,
“You sure you’re going to be alright at work tomorrow?” She asked quietly. He would likely say yes to stop her worrying and no doubt Gary was frustrated at how little he could do but she didn’t want him to overdo himself and risk further injury or infection.
Ariana parked up outside the house and fumbled to find the house keys for a moment or so, procuring them from the depths of a pocket. She grabbed the bags which thankfully weren’t heavy and unlocked the door, grateful to be home as she shuffled everything into the kitchen.
“Do you fancy anything for dinner?” She asked him quietly, not about to let him skip out on a meal because that would just cause extra problems down the line. She could cook something up for them, it wouldn’t take long.
By the time Ri had a cart, Gary had made it to the entrance of the store. She caught up with him easily and Gary fumbled his left crutch and the phone, while maintaining balance with the right one. Spring? Gary looked down at his cast, Ariana's growing stomach and promptly agreed, though he didn't mind the cold as much.
"Ugh, no, I've got a broken leg, I'm not disabled," Gary protested with a mild look of disgust. Besides, the whole point of going out was that he actually got some movement in. Sitting still all day was all good and well, but it did nothing for his physical condition.
If melon was Ariana's craving food, Gary wasn't going to stop her. The more she ate, the better. He stopped to walk and scanned the list, trying to memorize some of it so he didn't have to switch out a crutch for the device every single time. Rather, Gary deduced what meals Ri planned to make and went from there, occasionally adding the odd item into the cart. He supplemented Ariana's melon with mango, made sure there were crisps for snacks and chose possibly the most calorie-heavy cookies the supermarket had. Now that he couldn't have coffee at the office as often, he also added some instant things which looked expensive and made Gary appreciate his office's cafeteria more.
By the time they reached about half the list however, he'd all but forsaken trying to get the phone out again and again. It was too strenuous to move and do stuff, and he was slowing things down too. Gary hoped they'd have good news this week at the hospital. For Ri and him both. He was a little out of breath by the time they walked back out and Gary was grateful for the fresh air. There was a faint headache pressing against his temple from all the colour and business in the store. He was glad they'd chosen to shop now, rather than tomorrow. If work was anything like it had been last, Gary already knew he'd be pretty useless after he was done.
"How do you do it every week? This place is crazy," Gary complained, half-heartedly helping Ri pack away some things.
The car was waiting for them where they left it and Gary reached for the door. A flash tore through his conscious. Eddy, opening the door for him and getting him seated, the cabby giving him a slightly worried look, asking if he was going to sick up on the back-seat. Gary swallowed and caught up with reality. His fingers were shaky, hovering just at the door-handle. With a sharp intake of breath, Gary pushed through and opened the door. He was ready to be home now.
Ariana glanced to Gary as they parked up and thankfully it wasn’t busy, at least she figured as much from the pack of cars in the car park. Gary must have been frustrated and she realised he was right, but didn’t say it out loud.
“You can keep me right.” She said to him with a small smile, loading up the list on her phone and passing it to him. She had no doubt Gary would add his own things to it and that was fine, whatever made recovery a little easier. Ariana undid her brother and got our, helping Gary for a moment before fetching a cart. She shivered a little as she fumbled to dismantle the cart from the rest of its herd. She gave a small victory sound as the cart finally came free and she headed back over, pushing the cart with an amused smile.
“Must be a lucky day, the wheels all work fine.” Usually one wheel was a little wild. Ariana was grateful for the warmth from her coat, cheeks already grazed with pink from the frosty air.
“I can’t wait for spring.” She mumbled. The appeal of winter had worn off, the excitement of snow was well and truly over with and Ariana figured through the spring she could work on the garden, that wouldn’t be too strenuous, right? Ariana headed into the supermarket and looked around, pondering where to start.
“Do you want one of those mobility things?” She asked Gary, half joking as she gestured. Whilst she knew him exercising was good, she wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be doing so for so long. Still, they could always ask at his next appointment.
Starting at the beginning seemed to make more sense, as Ariana headed up the first aisle of fresh vegetables and fruit, already eyeing up some melon in a packet as she plucked it up and dropping it into the cart.
“That was on the list, I think.” She said with a guilty laugh. Thankfully, cravings hadn’t hit quite so hard yet and fruit seemed to quell whatever odd desires her hormones brought up but she had no doubt in the coming weeks she would develop strange and unusual cravings.
Once Ri wiggled up and stretched, Gary followed suit and sat up, stretching out his back with a satisfied groan. Sleeping on the couch was all well and good, but it wasn't doing anything for his joints.
"Sure," Gary agreed. That way he couldn't over-extend himself as easily as he had the other day. The boys would have a thing or two to say about Ri coming to pick him up, but Gary didn't care that much. Stuff like that was fortune, now that he'd brushed by death so closely. He sat there for a minute, letting the thought sink in. It had been a close brush, huh? Gary rubbed at his forehead, fingers feeling out the fresh scar. Ever so close.
Ariana's voice started him back into reality. A reality in which life moved on without pause. Gary blinked and got his bearings, then lifted his eyes to meet Ariana's.
"Uhm, yeah, yeah I'll-...let me just get my shoes," he stammered. Gary grabbed his crutches and went about getting ready, more absent-minded than he had been before their little nap. Regardless, the fresh air cleared the cobwebs from his brain and gave him a good-old-fashioned reminder that English weather stopped for no-one. He got into the car and settled, taking care to strap into the seatbelt. Ri's fine fingers were sure when they fiddled with the radio and soon they were on their way. Gary listlessly stared out the window, watching houses and streets flick by.
There was no snow any longer, though he still didn't feel quite at ease in the car. His leg ached in a way he hadn't experienced before. As if he was reliving the accident through the offended limb. Gary even felt a headache coming on and though the drive to the store wasn't a long one, he was glad to be out of the car and back on steady grounds. The only times he hadn't felt uncomfortable riding a car, was when he'd been too tired to really stay awake for it. It'd get better, that's what Gary told himself.
"I'm going to be little help, aren't I?" Gary realized. He couldn't even push a cart or lift anything weighty. His crutches prevented all of that and he couldn't put weight on the cast at all without hurting himself. Not that it really mattered. He'd come out just to be out of the house a little and get back into the grind of things. That he could do remarkably little was just an unfortunate side-note. It'd keep him moving and whatnot.
"Have you got a list?" Gary surmised. Maybe he could keep track or whatever. Add some things on there that Ri hadn't thought of, but that he'd like to have. All things unhealthy for sure.
Ariana thought for a while, weighing out the options. On the one hand it was comfortable right then, it was warm and Ariana figures it had been a while since she had just indulged herself like this with Gary but on the other hand, he was right. The tea seemed to be helping with keeping morning sickness at bay and she couldn’t imagine the two of them would stay sweet with each other if there was nothing in the cupboards to eat. She huffed out and sat up, propping herself up for a moment.
“Okay, shopping.” She concluded because it wasn’t exactly nice throwing up and she couldn’t imagine it was nice for Gary to listen into in the mornings either.
Ariana wiggled up and stretched, getting her bearings for a moment.
“And yes, I’ll give you a lift to work tomorrow. I’ll pick you up if you want?” She figured one of the guys would give him a lift home but she wasn’t going to complain if she had to pick him up. It might even do him better to stick to a pick up time instead of working himself late. She was tempted to just give into laying down again but knew she wouldn’t get back up. She fixed her attire and tied her hair up properly. They could be somewhat quick at the ship, she figured as she wandered through the kitchen, checking the fridge and cupboards. She tapped in a list on her phone and pocketed it. It was easier to go with a set plan of what they needed given Gary’s injury and not wanting to be wandering around for hours.
“Right, sure you want to come? I can go myself if you’re not up to it.” Ariana said to him, picking up the keys as she shrugged into a coat and found the zipper, fumbling for a minute before waiting at the door and then heading out to the car, setting the heating up so at least the vehicle was toasty compared to the frost in the air outside. It was a touch windy, nothing to worry about and at least it wasn’t rain or snow. Ariana found the seatbelt and clicked it into place, flicking through some radio stations.
Ri gratefully used the provided excuse, though Gary believed Ariana secretly liked the attention and fussing about, to a certain extent. She deserved it. After all, she was a pregnant woman and rather than treat it like a death-threat, they ought to indulge in the happiness that came with being expectant of a young new addition to their family. His mother emphasised that there was something to celebrate, whether she'd intended to or not. Ri snuggled down after ending the conversation and Gary stroked her hair out of the way, looking down at her with soft eyes.
"She does," he confirmed and smiled. His mother would always worry, such was the life of a mother with a son. Lately more so than usually, it seemed.
Shopping didn't have the same appeal it had before when he suggested going out, but Gary knew that after work he'd likely be too tired to actually be in the mood to go. Another scan. Another nerve-wrecking moment. His thoughts weren't at all at the mundane tasks they ought to be performing around the house. Ri needed to eat though. She needed to put on a little weight to get out of that danger-zone.
"We should, shouldn't we?" Gary sighed out and toyed with some of Ariana's curly strands by winding them around his fingers. Her yawn was catching and Gary sighed out, indulging instead in the kiss Ri offered. It tasted like more, though he felt too lazy to pursue the sensation. Gary just held Ariana close, relishing the fond emotions that rose to the surface amid the confusion and worry. He broke it off with a deep intake of breath. A quick kiss to Ri's cheek had him grinning, "c'mon, lazy bones. Let's get moving. At the very least we should stock up on that tea so you don't get sick all the time," Gary pointed out. She'd be sore if they ran out of ginger.
"Are you giving me a ride to work tomorrow?" he pitched. "I could call Ray to come pick me up?" He still didn't trust leaving Ri on her own after her fainting spell, but Gary wasn't sure how else to orchestrate things so that someone would watch her. Maybe he ought to involve Lisa in his worries. At the thought, Gary pulled a face. Honestly, the only thing the two of them had in common was Ariana.
Gary pulled Ri up a little, stealing another kiss before waiting for Ri to move first. Getting up would be easier. If she did decide to be lazy however, Gary wasn't sure whether he'd fight it a second time.
Ariana glanced to Gary when he mentioned the shopping and gave a silent that she would likely use the excuse as she listened to his mother chatter on. There was a comfort to be taken in her words though, and her excitement.
“Everything’s fine. Another scan next week.” Ariana said as she thought about the gym idea. Somehow, the idea of going to a group of expectant mothers was off putting but she did agree to at least think about it. Ariana smiled a little as she listened,
“He’s alright, really. It’s only half days for the most part.” She murmured in response to her concerns about Gary. She couldn’t control his actions no matter how much she wanted to keep him safe and home wrapped in cotton wool.
Gary’s soft kisses took her off guard and she smiled a little,
“I’ll call you after the scan, we’re going to get some shopping in soon.” She excused as she said her farewells to her mother in law, fidgeting to hang up and glancing back at Gary as she snuggled down amongst the blankets, head in his lap as she watched him.
“She worries.” She murmured as she placed the device safely on the coffee table. It was nice though, having someone be excited for them and not look at them with pity and step on eggshells constantly. Hannah was refreshing that way.
“Are we actually going shopping?” She ventured to ask, green eyes searching Gary’s face. They could go tomorrow after work, if they weren’t exhausted. Ariana certainly looked comfortable but she figured they hadn’t exactly been productive at all through the day but that wasn’t a bad thing, they hadn’t argued today at least. Ariana stifled a yawn as if to punctuate her comfort on the couch, instead leaning up to steal a kiss from Gary’s lips, savouring the moment. She was sure soon enough he would be back to working all hours, chasing down leads and sources and with any good fortune they’d have a son to care for.
"Hey, honey, how have you been?" Hannah started. "Oh, we've been fine. I just wanted to check in and make sure you children had everything you needed." Graham grumbled something in the backdrop and Hannah shushed him with a chuckle.
"I hear Gary is going to work again," she ventured. "Will he be alright? I know my boy and he always pushed the limits of what he should do." Hannah sighed out and shook her head. "Oh, hear me puttering on. Has that lazy son of mine given any consideration to the baby-room? Are you still feeling ill in the morning? Ginger-tea works a charm, dear, you should drink that in the morning," she advised.
Gary chuckled, stretching out on the couch and watching Ariana with a languid smile. He reached for the cup of tea Ri set out and warmed his hands. At least this way he didn't have to talk for another little while. He tried the tea, took a careful sip and focused on the movie Ariana had put on a while ago.
"Just tell her we need to go get shopping," Gary suggested. That way, Ri had a viable out.
He could hear his mother's chatter going on about babies and how Ri should be starting on that pregnancy gym she'd heard about. There was this group a niece of hers had attended and she told her it'd been delightful. Then, Hannah went on a tangent about how that baby was doing. Gary was glad to be no part of it. It was obvious even from where he was sitting, that Ri's pregnancy had made his mom excited. He didn't have any siblings, so to his mom, Ri was the only chance at becoming a grandmother. Not that she'd ever push them into having children or anything.
Gary pushed his hair back and sat up a little, eyes drifting from the television over towards Ariana.
Her face was illuminated by the flashing screen and the scarce light filtering in through the window. She was dressed comfortably and her skin looked ever so soft. Tempted, Gary pressed a kiss to the soft skin and beyond that, behind her ear. Her cool hair tickled his nose and Gary nuzzled in to pushed them aside.
She smelled ridiculously nice. Just the scent of her, mingled with the perfumed shampoo and soap was enticing. He didn't want to lose that. Ever. Gary decided then and there, that if he was forced to play his hand, he'd choose Ariana.
Gary was working tomorrow, Ariana figured she would go in for a few hours too just to let people know she was fine. Gary went quiet and she figured he would give into sleep and she truthfully didn’t mind. They could go shopping later on if they both felt up to it, maybe after a nap was a good idea but Ariana wasn’t sure she could sleep. Besides, if she slept then sleep would evade her later and she would be chasing it down. Ariana looked to Gary as he gave into rest and she relaxed at his side, reaching over momentarily to grab the remote. She was too comfortable to move and she bummed softly as she tried to find something worth watching and keeping her attention.
A movie flashed up, it had just started and Ariana figured it would prove a welcome distraction from sleep as she got comfortable and set her gaze on the film. She checked her phone and responded to a couple texts and well wishes, word travelling fast about Gary’s accident and she figured it probably made the papers given the circumstances. When the film finished, Ariana peeled herself up from the couch and looked through some of the takeaway menus, figuring she would still need to be careful what she ate to save on morning sickness.
Gary’s phone rang out and Ariana glanced up from where she had put the kettle on again. She offered him a small smile at his tired expression as he fumbled through questions and she set a fresh cup of tea down for him, eyeing the device. She knew Hannah worried and it was something that mothers did, well, most mothers. She took the device and gave Gary a small smile as she adjusted the phone to her ear and sat with her tea beside her husband.
“Hey, how are you?” Ariana started pleasantly. She could tell Hannah probably wasn’t happy about Gary going into work and she couldn’t exactly say she was either but what was she supposed to do, he was an adult and all she could do was support the choices he made.
"Forgetful already?" Gary teased. "Isn't that something that starts later on in the pregnancy?" A lazy chuckle fell from his lips and Gary watched Ri for a second before slinging his arms around her.
"I am going to try working tomorrow," he confirmed. Just a morning this time around. No sense in overdoing things like he had last time. At least until he'd had all his treatments at the hospital. Going in to work was more about getting back into a sense of rhythm than actually moving a butt-load of work.
"Hmm..." A little while? Shopping didn't sound at all appealing right then, but maybe after a nap Gary would feel differently. "Ask me again in a few hours," Gary sighed out, lazy and too comfortable right then to consider moving. He wasn't about to let go of Ri so she might consider going at it alone either. Gary slumped down on the couch and got them comfortable, blanket and all. He left the television as it was. The machine produced a nice grey noise to drown out any annoying thoughts and emotions that threatened to pop up after they'd done some things around the baby-room. Maybe they could put on something more stimulating, such as a movie, but Gary couldn't be bothered to find the remote. In the end that didn't matter much. It only took several minutes for his body to relax and claim the rest he needed.
His phone's ringing started him from what was otherwise a light and rather satisfying doze. Gary owlishly blinked awake and gathered himself for a few long seconds, taking in a deep breath. A drowsy hand reached for the phone and Gary squinted at the number. His mother.
"Hey," Gary started, trying to sit up a little but failing.
"Hey, dear, I just wanted to call in, make sure you're alright," Hannah babbled almost immediately. "Are you resting? How is Ariana? Do you need anything? I am sure your father wouldn't mind if we dropped by," she rattled on. A derisive snort on the background told Gary enough about what his father thought about that suggestion, but he didn't comment on it.
"Uhm, I-... yeah, I was just taking having a nap," he defended his sluggish response.
"Ri is fine," Gary started working on the long list of questions fired off by his mother. "We just did some things about the house this morning," he said, more so to prevent more questions from coming than anything else.
'She's been worried,' came his father's gruff voice from the background and Gary chuckled.
"We're fine, mom, honest," Gary soothed his mother's concern. "I'm going to try and work tomorrow morning," he said.
"Oh, that's...isn't that too soon, dear?"
Gary looked at Ri, who'd said something similar and sighed out.
"It's just a single morning. It'll be fine," he placated.
"Well... Could you put Ri on?" Hannah started and Gary raised his eyebrows, but then shrugged. Girl-talk, undoubtedly.
"Mom wants to talk to you," Gary said and offered up the phone.
Ariana knew that she didn’t need any extra stress and she knew that when it involved her mother it wasn’t an optional emotion to go through. She didn’t think it made much difference right that moment, comfortable where she was and she figured it was best not to disturb the tranquility they held right then. Ariana tilted her head back so she could look up at Gary, eyes tracing his features, trying to get a read on what was going through that head of his.
“Shopping? Oh, yeah.” She had almost completely forgotten about picking up groceries and stocking up the cupboards and fridge.
“If we’re working tomorrow, we could go after?” She offered up. She wasn’t sure Gary would be in any fit state after a day of work to wandering around a shop but she figured they couldn’t avoid it forever and at least it would be a full day of some sort of activity. She had no doubt tomorrow would be a long day but it was going to be tiring. Still, a lazy day for them both had given ample preparation for the day ahead. Ariana stifled a yawn,
“Unless you feel up to going in a little while?” She suggested and thought about it. A small trip out wouldn’t hurt, right? And after they could just bunker down for dinner and relax, get an early night.
Ariana didn’t mind either way what they did, she could snuggle down on the couch and probably order a takeout for later or she could give herself a kick into motivation and venture out to pick up some essentials. It was odd that even menial tasks seemed to take some sort of forward planning now. She let her gaze trail back to whatever was playing on the television, not really interested in what was happening, going outside would mean bundling against the cold but it would help to keep them somewhat awake.
"I don't want you to stress yourself out, Ri," Gary said sternly. Last time he checked, any type of worry of stress was bad for budding mothers. Ariana's mother was the epitome of stress for both him and Ariana, though on occasion Ri dealt with it 'okay'. There had to be some form of home there for Ari to put up with it all. Making up with her mother was possibly the only way to get back in touch with her rebellious father, and he used that turn of phrase liberally. Her murmur was almost lost and Gary just sighed into his mug of tea, giving consideration to alternative ways of dealing with Margaret. Over the span of their marriage, he'd tried several ways of approaching the older woman, but as with Lisa, the other women in Ariana's family just seemed to disapprove of his existence. Gary had decided long ago not to let it bother him. He knew what their love meant and no other woman had a part in that anyway.
Gary had always suspected Lisa's departure had made things that much more difficult for Ariana. As if Margaret feared she would lose another of her children. Not that it made the older woman change tack. Gary's eyes zoned out to the television-screen, mindlessly letting the image drone in and back out again, without absorbing any of the information. His brain was calling quits for the day and Gary didn't mind it overly much.
At some point, he exchanged his mug for his phone and toyed around on the device, replying to messages and getting back into contact with those people he hadn't tried texting yet on account of headaches and whatever other symptoms the concussion brought along. It didn't take long for a headache to start brewing either. Same as with work the other day, his eyes really didn't enjoy focussing on the tiny screen for too long.
He abandoned the device and focussed on his surroundings for a second, then drowsily decided he was overdue a nap anyway. All in all, he'd been up a decent amount of time. And early enough at that. Maybe he could get back into a rhythm and work would become a little easier to manage after that.
Gary sprawled out on the couch and stretched, "should we be getting shopping any time soon?" he pondered out loud. Any excuse to get out of the house was a good one, basically.
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