Gary clinked glasses with Mike and Graham while Ri put their gratitude in more eloquent words than he could hope to imagine after a day's hard work. Decorators.
"Hah! And miss out on this?" Gary joked, though he couldn't exactly be exempt from ridicule, what with most his left side dotted in paint. His dominant hand had been too preoccupied holding up his weight, so painting had become interesting at best.
"Eat something," Gary encouraged Ri, a hand on her leg. His tongue felt a little thick in his mouth as the beer rose to his head and interacted with the leftover antibiotics in his system, but Gary was keen enough to notice Ri hadn't touched any of the food yet. It was good to have her sit down. He worried today might've taxed Ri too, same as him. At least he could stomach food again. Gary tried to think up whether or not he'd seen Ri eat lunch, but drew a blank. Between the chaos of doing up the room and Margaret's attempt at bringing winter indoors, it'd slipped by their attention. Gary hoped Lisa might've kept an eye out, but doubted it. Lisa probably did most of the painting first time around, all things considering.
He took a long drink from his beer, but then slowed down. Honestly, when was he going to learn that he couldn't keep up with the big boys yet? Or maybe he conveniently forgot each time he'd consumed more than two beers. It didn't help that Graham and Mike were keeping an eye on refilling his drink whenever he ran out, same as they normally would.
Gary supported a heavy head on one hand, elbow up on the table, propped up between the table and the wall, leg out on the other chair and stared at their company with a glassy set of eyes. It was his mother chiding his father in the end, effectively cutting him off. Which was just as well. Gary wasn't even sure what number he was on, but he knew some was left in the current bottle and he intended to keep it that way. Or maybe not. His internal debate was all over the place. It was easier to just forget the heavy implications today brought by drinking just a little too much, no matter how unfair that was to Ri.
Ariana looked around the almost finished product of their work. It was strange to think in four months or so that it would be home to a son, their son. She looked to Gary and smiled,
"Very." She said to him softly, taking note of his paint stains and she couldn't help but give a soft laugh. What a pair they made. She could smell dinner and knew Hannah had beaten her to the punch of cooking but she wouldn't fight the woman on it, somewhat grateful in all honesty.
Ariana caught a glimpse of her reflection and furrowed her brow. How exactly had she managed to get painted in so many different places? She washed it away and checked herself over. The paint stains on the clothes would come out after a couple of washes, no doubt. She followed Gary downstairs and thanked Hannah for dealing with dinner as she got herself some juice and settled, it felt nice to actually sit down after today and she knew they still needed to tidy up and move some things back into the room when it was dry.
Graham's words broke her thoughts and she wasn't sure why they struck her slightly. This was what it was all for, a group effort of making something perfectly suited for when a child entered their lives. Ariana felt Lisa squeeze her shoulder for some sort of silent support and Ariana took a drink, watching the others.
"Thanks for your help, everyone, really. It's made everything much easier and we really appreciate it." Ariana spoke up after a moment. They wouldn't have done this without their help, she knew that. Lisa gave a small smile and Mike chuckled,
"I think next time, get a decorator rather than let these two loose with brushes." He pointed out and cast Lisa and Ariana a cheeky look.
Gary put aside one of his crutches and took the roller Ri offered. With an unimpressed expression he rolled some paint on and raised it at Ri, "well, come here then," he said with a cheeky grin, but veered the roller off to the wall at the last second to apply the paint. With just one crutch, he wasn't exactly moving anywhere fast, but Mike was there to pick up slack and he left the lower parts to Ri. Between the three of them they had the wall painted in what felt like no time at all, but had to be a couple hours according to his stomach. It was dinner-time now, it announced, even as Mike and Lisa went to clean up. Gary dropped his roller too and surveyed the room. They still needed to remove some of the plastic along the painted wall, and clear away the paint and brushes, but the effect of their work was immediate.
Today had been physically demanding for sure. Gary was just glad his headache had remained absent. Not a lot of thinking to be done when painting a wall, he supposed. The scent of food already drifted up, which meant his mom had found enough food to whip up a meal, even if it was only pizza with some salad on the side.
"I think mom cooked dinner," Gary started. He approached Ri and grinned at how paint-stained she ended up looking. His own arm and hand didn't look that much better and on closer inspection, some of the paint-splatter managed to taint his pants and cast. Gary would be the last person to admit painting with a broken leg was going to be anything short of clumsy.
"Happy?" he asked Ri. His otherwise impressive vocabulary had regressed alongside his energy-level it seemed. It didn't matter. In order to convey what he wanted, just those words would suffice.
Gary kissed Ri's cheek and examined his hand before eyeing the second crutch. Washing up first then. "Let's wash up and eat," he coaxed Ri into coming along, though didn't put much force behind it. He went ahead and washed his hands, then his face. At least sleep wouldn't be so evasive tonight, Gary suspected. When enough of the paint was gone to prevent him from staining anything else, Gary left the bathroom and hobbled clumsily to fetch his second crutch to join the ruckus downstairs.
Food was being put out, drinks and beer alongside the victory meal. Gary only realized how uncomfortable his leg had been once he sat down and elevated the cast. And he only started to feel how properly tired he was after eating and opening his third beer for the day. He raised the bottle in a toast, but failed to find any words to add.
His father smirked, "to a healthy baby grandson," he said in Gary's stead.
This wasn't new ground, Ariana wasn't sure what she had been hoping for. A rushed reconciliation and all sweetness and warmth afterwards? Not likely. Still, she didn't want an awkward atmosphere and she watched Gary fitting together this and that. She was glad he wasn't sitting on the sidelines, regardless of how much she wanted him to rest up and deal with this in whatever way he saw fit, it was nice he was involved. Lisa had taken to inspecting and going around with a smaller brush to make sure that any little parts were filled in and Ariana realised that even if her mother wanted to crack her whip and make her banshee scream every time something didn't go her way, they still had a good support network.
"Right, second layer then." Mike announced and watched his wife going around with all the little parts and shook his head. He handed one of the rollers to Ariana and eyed her over,
"Some on the wall this time, maybe?" He chuckled and Ariana raised an eyebrow,
"I might need some target practice, Mike." She warned off and Mike surrendered with a chuckle, letting her get on with it. There were still a few rollers left and Lisa had switched her task to making sure the gifts bought for them were being stored away in the drawers and wardrobe.
"You helping?" Ariana said, holding out a fresh roller to Gary enticingly before getting on with her part. After some time, she stepped back and set the roller down. Her hands were a lovely shade of green spotted and she had at some point moved some hair from her face which had resulted in a pale scraping across her forehead.
"Not bad." She said with a proud smile, looking to Gary as Lisa motioned she would head down and wash up. her husband in tow. In the quiet, Ariana looked around at the new room, it looked fresh and foreign now, ready for new life. There was no original left to the rooms colours to be a stark reminder of what was. It was brighter, more colourful.
Hannah felt for Ariana and Lisa. To have a mother who was so obviously disapproving of everything her children did had to be difficult. Graham kept quiet, more level-headed than Gary was at his age. Mike just flinched as the door slammed shut.
"Well, now that that's over," he muttered into his beer.
Hannah clicked her tongue in disapproval of Margaret's behaviour, but decided Mike was right. Now that the thorn was out of the atmosphere, there was more room for happier thoughts. Whatever bothered Ariana's mother, they would have to come to terms in their own time. All they could do, was hope they could nurture a more constructive relationship at some point. Hannah sighed and sipped from her coffee.
Gary looked up as Lisa and Ri came into the room. He'd sat himself down on the floor, screwing in the new knobs on the cabinet. The going was slow, but he hadn't really expected anything else, honestly. All that was left was another coat of paint on the wall. A second layer ought to be enough. It wasn't a rich or deep colour, after all, and it didn't have to cover anything outrageous either. Gary slotted in a drawer and pulled out the other, working meticulously. There seemed to be something different about both Ri and Lisa, but Gary couldn't put his finger on it, until the others joined them in the room and Thomas wasn't there. So the slam he'd faintly heard had been the door.
Well, that certainly solved his problem.
Gary scratched the back of his head. Things between them and Margaret were never going to work out if they didn't talk. Did the older woman even know they were expecting a baby boy? Did she know what they were doing? She'd decided not to get involved, and Gary wouldn't accept 'it wouldn't survive anyway' as a valid excuse to remain on the sidelines. Gary started to wonder whether Margaret knew of the pain Ri was going through right now. Something more deep. He hoped it, some part of him did, because then that meant it wasn't just Margaret's personality which was shit.
He finished his chore and then used the cabinet to lever himself back up and grab his crutches. Mike was already pouring a second batch of paint and Gary figured he could do a part, at least. Maybe with a roller or whatever. He was looking forward to this being done with now.
"Hmm, why am I not surprised?" She murmured out loud at Gary's comment of Margaret biding her time for the best moment to strike like the snake she could be. Ariana figured she was probably enjoying being able to upset the atmosphere just by her presence alone. Ariana pulled a face when he cleaned her cheek and she gave a small laugh,
"If I remember rightly, you were finding paint for days." She retorted with a giggle as she watched him retreat. They were almost done and Ariana figured it would be a productive day overall.
"Thanks." Ariana said to Hannah when she came to help as she fixed herself some juice, she had eaten some of a sandwich but the offsetting vibes from her mother proved to kill her appetite and juice sufficed for now. She stepped into the lounge and eyed the scene, figuring Gary had gone upstairs. Everyone had been adequately fed and watered for now and Ariana glanced to her mother,
"Are you coming up to help?" She extended an olive branch once again and Margaret sniffed disapprovingly.
"Up those stairs? You know fine well my legs can't handle it." She snapped back like somehow her legs didn't work suddenly. Lisa rolled her eyes behind her,
"Why'd you come then?" Lisa muttered and Ariana shot her a look.
"Well, we have to go anyways." Margaret said, almost smugly and Thomas looked surprised,
"I thought we-" He started only to be cut off by a stern glare from his wife. He sighed and gave Ariana an awkward hug she couldn't quite return. Margaret made sure to slam the door behind her and Ariana was quiet for a while,
"Sorry." She said to the others with an apologetic look, clearing away the dishes. Lisa figured the second layer would be ready to put on by now as she headed up and Ariana followed a while behind.
"She's quiet, morose, almost," Gary breathed, "biding her time for the perfect opportunity to stab us in the back," he whispered lowly, just so only Ariana could hear him. He didn't let go as Ri finished up the coffee and tea, but left room for her to shift so they faced one another.
"Yeah, I'll be okay," he reassured her. Today wasn't about him, for once. It had been a lot these past few days, but Gary wanted nothing more than for Ri to just focus on being pregnant and accepting that she'd need all the support she could get in order to do that. His, Lisa's, his parents and with some good will, her own parents too. Paint-addled fingers brushed his hair from his eyes and Gary chuckled.
She looked like her sister.
Gary wet his thumb and rubbed at the paint caught on Ariana's cheek.
"You look possibly worse than you did the first time we tried this," Gary said with a cheeky grin. He looked at the sea-foam green now covering his thumb and sighed out. "Just another layer of paint or so and then we'll be finished in there, huh?"
Gary ran the tap and rinsed his hand from paint, then picked back up his crutches and gave Ri a final look. She'd be okay, wouldn't she? There were enough people that knew about the need for Ariana to take things easy to prevent Margaret from trying anything funny today. Gary was going to make sure that Thomas and Margaret weren't the last ones to leave. He didn't want that situation exploding on him today. He'd employ his mother's help to make sure they'd stick around until Ri's parents left too.
Gary hoped they'd gotten enough beer to see himself through the night. With how languid one beer could make him feel, Gary quietly winced and figured just one or two more would set him off to a nice drowsy sleep again anyway. Hannah came and helped Ri set out the coffee and tea, while Gary went back up the stairs to survey how far they'd come in the room. He figured it might be easier for Margaret if he didn't accidentally rock the cradle.
Everything was airing, leaving the room a bit cold. Winter was maybe not such a good time to be doing this sort of thing, but it couldn't be helped.
The wallpaper was already drying a little, showing through a little of the true colours.
Margaret skulked while Thomas tried to just cover it all up with a feeble band-aid, but it was better than nothing. Lisa also did a good job of keeping chatter up and not focused on the sulking woman in the corner. She did a well enough job and seemed to keep her father and Mike's attention.
"Could've been an artist in a past life." Lisa said, teasingly and knew full well painting was not her strong suite. Lisa was at least glad everything seemed calm, the last thing Ariana or Gary needed was extra stress on a day like this. It wasn't like they were doing great on any other day either.
Ariana could hear the dull tones through from the kitchen and she peered down at herself when she realised she had an extra set of arms. She relaxed a little, easing back into him a bit as she waited for the kettle.
"Hey." She said and breathed out, tension filtering out of her.
"I'm alright, didn't expect mom to come. She behaving?" She asked, almost wary of the answer as she brewed some tea and coffee for those who ordered.She shifted so she could turn and look at Gary. At least the wallpaper was done, and even the first lick of paint to the walls.
"What about you, doing alright?" She asked him, she figured he'd had a beer, the smell apparent but she didn't mind. One beer wouldn't hurt, especially when they had to deal with all this today. She brushed some hair out of his face, at least he wasn't covered in paint and evidently could do a tidier job than she could and he was working with small things that required intricate work. Apparently a whole wall wasn't enough for Ariana to perfect her aim with a brush. She felt surprisingly okay given what had been going on today, everything had kept her busy which was a great way to keep her mind off of things.
Their eyes met briefly, but Gary was dumbed into silence with everyone else here. He wondered just how many knew about the falling out between them and Margaret, but Gary knew his parents weren't aware. Lisa might be, given she also didn't get along with her mother swimmingly. And then there was the whole 'why had she come', 'only to ostracise herself'? Gary merely gave Ri an encouraging smile and then followed the progression down the steps. He made a point of sitting on the couch to elevate his leg, but avoided sitting directly next to Margaret. Gary reserved that honour for Thomas. Lisa and Ri had the sandwiches sorted and Gary felt confident his mother would intercede if she thought Ariana was overdoing it. Eventually though, food arrived and him and Mike immediately said yes to beer.
They'd need to put in a little more work before calling it a day, but frankly, he could use a beer with the whole Margaret situation. Or maybe it was just to spite her. Graham grumbled something about finishing work before pleasure, silly youngsters, but the comments fell on deaf ears.
"Leave James with family?" Gary asked Mike, who nodded. "Yeah, the parents were happy to have James over for the day." He nodded and looked up at his mother, who stood behind him, handing him a drink.
"That'll be you guys in a few months," Gary said with a toothy grin.
"You just eat your sandwich, rascal, you," Hannah chided Gary. Gary realized he'd skipped breakfast that morning on account of time and wolfed down a sandwich or two before trying the beer. It was cold and went down way too smoothly. Gary knew he'd have to hold tight reins on his alcohol consumption at least until the work was finished for the day. He doubted the antibiotics had left his system completely and last time he'd had more than a couple of beers was still fresh in his memory.
"You look a little green, Lisa," Gary joked at the paint-splatters that'd made their way to Lisa's attire. Not that Ri looked any better, though Gary thought it looked cute. Speaking of which, where was Ri? Hiding out in the kitchen, he dared to bet. Gary finished his beer and got up to find her. He'd almost lost himself in the social interactions enough to forget that there was a whole emotional part to deal with too. Gary was good at pushing his feelings away like that. He found Ri minding the kettle.
"Hey..." he announced himself and put his arms around her waist. The beer made him a little looser, in a nice way. "You okay?" Gary whispered in her ear.
There was no point in making a scene, not today of all days and Ariana set around making herself as busy as she could with the painting as her and Lisa chattered away, although somehow throughout the entire ordeal Ariana wasn’t sure what had more paint on it, her or the wall. Not bad for a first attempt though, as she set the paintbrush down and smiled a little at their handiwork and the wallpaper sure did look appealing. A stray smudge of paint had made its way to her cheek somehow.
“Lunch sounds good.” Ariana said as she looked to Gary and his own little project, she was worried now her mother had arrived. She didn’t want the embarrassment of anything happening in front of Gary’s family.
Ariana stepped downstairs and eyed her mother who was looking thoroughly left out of her accord on the couch. Ariana set about in the kitchen, washing her hands and getting stuck in on making some sandwiches and snacks up with Lisa’s help.
“I got it.” She assured Lisa and Lisa just raised an eyebrow,
“Did you invite her?” Lisa said quietly, not wanting to be overheard and despite Lisa’s boldness she was content to remain awkward for the sake of peace.
“No, she turned up with dad.” Ariana replied as she played up some cut sandwiches.
“Spineless bastard.” Lisa muttered under her breath just loud enough for Ariana to hear and she went into the lounge with the sandwiches on a plate, passing them out.
Ariana glanced over to make sure no one was throwing blows or anything and then set about with sorting drinks.
“Is it beers or coffee or...?” She asked as she hovered at the counter, watching them all. Her mother didn’t respond and instead seemed quiet, a blessing for now but it didn’t stop her sour looks and being firmly out of place. Thomas was overcompensating trying to keep chatter up and he looked to Ariana and requested a tea given he would be driving. Ariana set the kettle on and ran a hand through her hair, taking a minute to compose herself.
Mike, with the help from his dad, started to hang up the first strokes of wallpaper. Hannah settled Gary in a quiet corner to sand down and paint the knobs for on the cabinet and started to take some of the drawers apart herself when the doorbell rang. Gary raised an eyebrow at that, but then realized Thomas hadn't arrived yet. He listened with a keen ear at what was going on, but had a hard time hearing anything. Whatever it was, eventually Ri and Thomas came up, so Gary wasn't sure whether Margaret had come too.
By the look on Ariana's face, she might very well have done exactly that. Mike had found a ladder somewhere and took the top, while his father gently unfolded the wallpaper and straightened it out against the wall. A long wooden stick was shimmied down the paper to press out any air-bubbles.
A hand landed on his shoulder, "those won't sand themselves, dear," his mother chided. Gary rolled his eyes, threatened his mom with the paint and stuck out his tongue when she all but dodged. He did set out to do his chore with patient diligence however. At least he was allowed to sit down, even if it was in a plastic-covered chair. His leg certainly appreciated not having to hobble from place to place.
Together, it didn't take them much time at all to stick the wallpaper on in its entirety and while still soggy and wet with glue, it started to look like something already. Like progress. Or something new. Graham and Mike surveyed their work and then set out on sticking on the second stroke of glue-embed paper.
Gary put a brush on the cabinet knobs and became engrossed in the task enough to forget his own predicament for a while.
He only looked back up at the time when his chore was done. Most of the wall was now covered in jungle-printed paper and the wall had the first layer of paint on. It'd need a second later to make it look nice, but Hannah had a different say on the matter.
"I think it's time we had some lunch," she said, a true mother hen. Without realizing, it was already well into the afternoon. Long overdue for lunch anyway. Gary carefully put down the last knob to set it to dry and wiped at his face. Lunch meant going down and facing Ariana's mother. If she'd stuck around, that was.
A kiss returned with a bright smile. Ariana watched and she figured painting a wall wouldn’t hurt, right? Wallpaper was probably left to Mike, Graham and Gary anyways.
“I’m sure I can be let loose with a paintbrush.” She explained as she watched Gary go to seek out some scissors. Lisa kept a close eye on her sister, joining her in painting one of the walls.
“You’re not going up any ladders.” Lisa reminded her and Ariana just gave a small smile to her,
“Alright, alright.” She agreed, a ladder was pushing it for anyone to agree to and she figured it was easier to agree anyways.
It was a short time later that the door went again and Ariana figured it could only be her father. She made her way downstairs and opened the door after a moment of hesitation.
“Hey, come in-“ Ariana cut off when she saw her sheepish looking father, who had her mother tagging along.
“Come in.” She wouldn’t turn them away at the door. She had a few paint droplets on her T-shirt and loose cotton bottoms.
“Everyone’s upstairs, just painting and the guys are doing the paper.” She explained, feeling a bit taken off guard.
“I’ll stay down here, sort some tea for me Ariana.” Margaret explained and glared are the stairs. Why had she even bothered coming? Ariana nodded and gestured Thomas to go up and find a job to do while she fulfilled her mother’s desires.
Ariana set about making her tea, setting it down for her.
“Are you coming up?” Ariana asked her, glancing to the stairs.
“Up those stairs? No.” Margaret said bluntly and Ariana just nodded.
“I’m going to go up.... Help out.” She said and Margaret just scoffed but Ariana headed back up. Thomas was eager to help with everything and he flashed an apologetic look to Ariana.
“Sorry, she found out.” He murmured and Ariana shrugged it off. This wasn’t about anything other than their future son today. Her mother could sit down there and mope for all she cared right then as she found a paintbrush again.
Gary nudged some of the plastic roll across the floor just as Ri and the others stepped inside. Graham wouldn't put up with him being excempt from working, though Gary suspected maybe his father was testing out his limits, to reassure himself that everything was going into the right direction. Gary wasn't sure whether he could do all that his father needed to know he was okay, but couldn't fault his old man either. Still, he was somewhat grateful the others showed up when they did. His mother pulled up the sleeves of what he now recognized to be one of Graham's old button-ups and took over his chore of laying down plastic to protect the floor and things that were staying in the room.
"Hey, Mike, Lisa, thanks for helping out," Gary started, hobbling over. "We can move these boxes out of the way into the bedroom," he said, giving Ri a short kiss. It was really happening now. His parents really wouldn't put up with any squishiness and he could already see Mike toy with the glue at Graham's instructions.
"We'll do the wallpaper," he explained to Ariana, leaving her in charge of the painting jobs. Somehow, they were all unanimous not to let Ri do any work, it seemed. Something about pregnant women just demanded that sort of respect and courtesy apparently, though the same sadly didn't apply to broken legs. Mike unwrapped the roll of wallpaper and started to measure out the wall's height.
"I'll go get some scissors," Gary mentioned. They might still have one of those glue-brushes for wallpaper stowed away somewhere too.
He finally found something, tucked into a distant corner, and handed over the tools to Mike before he was employed to help cut the paper into even strokes. Apparently a job he could easily do sitting down. His father started on brushing down the cut strokes, while his mother neatly folded the paper so they could soak up the glue. It didn't take too many strokes to do just the one wall. Gary regretted working the other day. He should've conserved his energy for today. Everyone just seemed so much more energetic than he was, it almost felt unfair.
"Are you excited, hun?" his mother asked with a kind smile. Her way of asking 'are you alright', he supposed.
Gary gave Hannah a small smile, "I'm worried about Ri." He was.
"Oh, your dad was so worried when I was pregnant with you too," she soothed, eyes trained on her chore. Gary looked at his dad, but the older man was just checking over the first set of soaked wallpaper, rather than engaging. It seemed they were almost ready to actually start doing up the wall.
Ariana watched Gary and his father head upstairs and figured it was better to stay downstairs.
“These are great, really, thank you.” She said to Hannah as she smiled gratefully. It was then that the door was knocked in and Ariana figured it was either her sister and brother-in-law or her father. There was a small relief when she let her sister and Mike in, Lisa carrying a bag as she greeted everyone.
“Where’s the other half?” Mike asked and Ariana gestured upstairs and seemed grateful enough to leave the women to their business of cute clothes and little trinkets. Lisa greeted Hannah as she set down a bag and Ariana set her up a drink.
“How was your last scan?” Lisa asked and Ariana looked over to Hannah and Lisa.
“Yeah it was fine, my blood pressure was a little high but I think it was because of morning sickness.” She remarked, not being dishonest. Lisa shot her a look and tutted a little before showing off some little trinkets.
“I found these.” She procured a couple of cute bottles with little teddy bear icons on them and Ariana smiled a little.
“You guys are too kind, really. He’s going to be very spoiled.” She said with an amused laugh.
“Well that is just adorable!” Lisa said as she looked over the romper Hannah had gifted Ariana. Ariana smiled at them as she handed over Lisa a cup of coffee,
“Is dad coming?” Lisa asked and Ariana shrugged,
“Apparently.” Ariana replied, not wanting to respond around Hannah because she still found it embarrassing to speak about how her family was in some form of dysfunction.
“Anyways, we picked a really lovely green and got some forest print wallpaper. Turns out Gary has a good eye for design.” She explained as she gestured them upstairs and peeked in on the men, stepping around the boxes.
“Are we getting let loose with the paint?” Ariana asked with an amused smile.
"I also got these," Hannah continued as Gary cast a curious gaze at the little romper. It was tiny and all the sudden very real that they'd have an addition to their little family very soon. Next Hannah pulled out small wooden knobs, and he picked one up.
"I thought we could paint them to match the walls and then spruce up that dainty cupboard you guys had already," she said. It'd make it look just a bit different enough from before, maybe, for it to work. His mother was good like that. More things came out of the bag, a small shelf and some pots 'because babies needed green things too' and they could find some nice-looking plants to go with what they had already later.
Gary caught on to Ri's words and looked at his dad.
"You love moving boxes, I heard, dad," Gary started. Graham gave his son a level look, but sighed.
"Alright then, show me what needs to move," the old man agreed to help them move some things, seeing as he was now the most capable amongst them. Gary preceded his father back up the stairs, carefully pushing open the door to the baby-room. It was as they had left it the other day; half chaos and disarray, half structured order.
"Just these two," Gary pointed out and showed his dad where they should leave them for the time being. Until they were older, wiser and stronger, strong enough to deal with digging up memories of the child that never got to be. Graham grumbled about the boxes being light enough Gary could've carried them himself, but did the chore for them anyway.
Once the boxes were out of the way, Graham took stock of their supplies.
"We were thinking that wall a nice shade, maybe like a shape and then the wallpaper on that side," he said. Graham just grunted in confirmation and started to nudge some things aside. Wallpaper needed glue and for the paper to rest and soak it up for a while before applying. At least it wasn't a big wall that needed to be done. Gary heard the chime of the doorbell even as him and Graham took some of the things from the room, to secure them in the master bedroom. He paused for a second, only to have a teddy pressed into his hands.
Outside of the boxes that had been packed away, there really wasn't that much to clear away. Gary could already tell it was going to be a long day though.
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