The second he sat down, Gary realized what little additional sleep they'd salvaged that morning hadn't really been enough to recover from what had turned out to be a night long struggle against fever. His muscles relaxed into the car-seat and Gary was grateful Ri didn't ask him to come with her into the store. Just visiting the hardware store alone had been enough impressions to keep his overstimulated brains occupied for a while. Long enough for Ri to pop in and return with groceries in tow. Gary was shook from his daze by the car's engine cutting off and climbed out near enough unassisted. A cold chill was on the air and settled in his bones with surprising ease.
"What? Yeah, sure," he agreed to carry some of the items in.
Gary took the bags Ri offered and hoisted them on one shoulder, leaving his hands free to deal with the crutches. It wasn't surprising that fat drops of rain chased them on their way in. He handed the paper to Ri, who moved up the stairs with a grace Gary could only hope to achieve in a few months and puttered off to the kitchen to securely stow the chicken inside the fridge. He sat down on the couch afterwards, kicked off the one shoe he'd done up and elevated his healing leg.
Just that short outing left him knackered.
His eyes zoned out watching the cast. Just a short few weeks and it could come off to reveal the hideous leg underneath. Hideous, but healed, hopefully. And then more surgery, to remove the bolts that held the whole thing together. Gary wasn't looking forward to that one. Apparently he'd had surgery before, but he hadn't really been with it enough to realize what had been going on back then. Occasionally shreds of those days returned, always fragmented and laced with both confusion and fear. Pain. That too. His leg hadn't been that bad in a while now, giving him the confidence that everything was well on its way to be healed now.
Well on its way, but not quite there.
Gary stifled a yawn and sank a little further down on the couch, pulling the blanket closer. Yesterday's treatment had him true and well beat. In the back of his mind was a niggle that he ought to make lunch, just to get Ri to eat something more than what she'd had that day, but his eyelids had other plans.
Ariana followed along with Gary, she hadn’t thought about paintbrushes or plastic to be fair. Plastic sheets were scattered around on special deals throughout so fortunately they didn’t have to go hunting. She looked to the jungle theme and she set back the beach one. The jungle one was nice, scenic in a lot of ways and she agreed to the decals for the wall, it would be nice to break up the solid colours. She added some pieces and checked the cart.
“Okay, paintbrushes, plastic, tape, paper, paint....” She hummed as she counted off and then looked to Gary with a smile. This was a start, regardless of how difficult it would be come the weekend. Ariana was at least glad the bags weren’t overly heavy, mostly the paint but it was manageable.
She opened the boot of the car and set the bags inside, looking to Gary. It hadn’t been that bad in all honesty, neither of them had succumbed to a breakdown in the paint aisles at least. Ariana tucked some hair behind her ear.
“Just have to stop for some chicken.” She assured him it wouldn’t take long as she drove down to the nearest shop. She gave a small smile to Gary before heading into the shop and picking up some chicken and some vegetables before adding it to the small pile of bags and finally heading home. It hadn’t been a bad day, if the morning was anything to go by she had been dreading a slow day.
“Think you could manage the paper and chicken?” She asked as she divided the bags. She didn’t want anything to be overly heavy for him and risk toppling him over. Ariana fiddled with the keys to lock the car and unlock the house, stepping inside in a nick of time given the rain was just starting. She untangled herself from her jacket before heading up to set the bags in the baby room. It would look different, eventually and it was still a little harrowing to think about. It had been so neutral before, they hadn’t had time to think about the gender before the unthinkable had happened. Ri figured everything was at least boxed and would be easy enough to move away from the walls. A small set of drawers, a cupboard, a table and the wicker chair by the window, some curtains as well.She wouldn’t move it, but Mike could be in charge of that. It would just need moved to the centre of the room where paint wouldn’t splatter it. It was difficult to imagine the room with colour, in many ways and Ariana exhaled a breath.
"Both," Gary mentioned when Ri asked about the roller. They'd need brushes for the finer details and then rollers to fill out the larger surfaces. Ariana's smile was bright, but a little forced. At least she was trying. Gary agreed on the sea foam colour though; it was nice without being too much. The tin inside the cart made it feel real somehow. He added a roll of tape to the cart and followed Ri down the aisle towards the selection of wallpapers.
Gary snorted. Twelve years?
"Sure, sounds like a deal," he agreed. If they were still together and in the presence of a young boy in twelve years time, he'd gladly redo the room. For now however, Gary took in the choices they had and sighed out.
"Jungle, I'd say..." Gary muttered. They had one that wasn't too much colour, the trees drawn on in shades of grey. Or maybe it'd be too withdrawn for a baby. He figured Ri would want some things on the walls come time anyway. Shelves, or knobs, maybe some trinkets or frames.
Gary tried to imagine the room.
"We can also do a white on one wall and some of the stickers," he pitched, pointing out the large decal wall-stickers. They had birds, trees, all sorts. Gary zoned out a little trying to decide on what would be nicest. He figured they ought to keep the colours relatively neutral. As time progressed, they could always add colour in little details. Knobs on cabinets, teddies or whatever else. It reminded him of a couple of days ago, when they'd sorted through the things already in the room, trying to decide what were personal memorabilia and which were bland, reusable items.
"We'll need some plastic," Gary muttered. To protect their floor-boards. They'd gotten those nice warm-wood floors last time and it'd be a shame to get them stained somehow. It was stupid, how the little details all floated up as he thought about what they needed to do. As if his brains only now caught on to what they set out to do, while Ri had already tried to point it out.
If not now, when though?
Gary wished he'd pushed through in those first few months, when he'd been fighting ready. Not like now, when they were thrust into this whole situation when they hadn't really closed the chapter on the last time Ri was pregnant.
Ariana mulled over Gary’s words. He had a point and she wondered when he had become to more artistic of them. Then again, she’d never really been the overly creative one of the family. She liked his suggestions of green, she figured their son would arrive, hopefully, in summer which would mean it would look brighter and a nice reminder of the summers to come. With a C-Section, they would have an exact date to look forward to in time. Well, perhaps it wasn’t something to look forward to given the circumstances. It was still surgery, it still had risks.
“I like that idea.” Ariana said with a bright smile as she looked to Gary, casting off whatever worries she had, now was not the time.
Ariana looked to the labels on the paint, finding a nice shade with ‘sea foam’ on the label.
“This is nice.” She murmured as she lifted it into the trolley, pausing for a moment.
“Do we use rollers?” She asked him, “I mean, for the paint. Brushes would take a long time.” Ariana was no painter and she had next to no experience. From before, sure. Rollers would be easier as she added in a few. Wallpaper next, right?
“You know, I think it’s fair to make a deal that given you’ll be overseer of this, that in twelve years?” She thought for a while. What age did boys change their mind?
“You have to do the revamp.” She said with a soft laugh at the thought.
There were a vast array of wallpapers. One with teddy bears, some with a thick jungle print, a beach print and some various ABC prints. Of course, there were plainer designs too.
“I kinda like the jungle one, or beach.” She said, thoughtfully. It was difficult to envision in many ways. She looked to Gary, a roll of the wallpaper in each hand,
“Which do you like?” She asked him, determined to keep things as upbeat as possible.
It was warm inside the store. Gary moved slow, his crutches clacking on the linoleum and echoing into the large hall. People strolled about, none of them in a rush. Some came to just get bolts, others to carefully ponder what tiles they might decide on for their next home project. Paint was the first thing to cross their path and Gary held still, letting his eyes roam across the wide spread of tints and types. A desk was set further down the isle, for custom mixed paints apparently. A blue? Typical.
Gary smirked at Ri and figured blue wasn't bad. The powder-blue Ariana was on about was bland enough not to make the room look like a bathroom or refrigerator, but still fresh.
"I'm pretty sure they do the picture wallpapers, you know, the themed ones?" Like a full-picture jungle or like a faded colour backdrop of something or other.
"We can do shapes too," Gary suggested.
"With the paint? It'll be more playful," he offered. Maybe a triangle out of a corner or some strokes. No one said they had to just colour a few walls, after all. Once their baby was a young man, they were likely to do it all over anyway. That said, maybe withdrawn colours would be better stimulus for sleep in such a young child. Gary zoned out watching Ri's stomach and how tight her pants were starting to look. To the untrained eye, nothing was miss, but Gary knew how these pants usually fell on Ri's hips. And it wasn't quite this, that much was for sure. Soon she'd be showing, no denying it.
"Maybe it'd be easier to combine a faded green or something," Gary surmised. It'd be fresh, but less cold. That said, by the time the baby was due, it'd be going on summer already. Gary hobbled over to the wallpaper and looked at some patterns. Stripes and plain old colours didn't quite cut it for him, but there were some nice ones with a bit more detail about them. It'd fit well with some of the furniture they already had.
Gary realized it'd be covering their initial choices. Back then they hadn't known the gender. It'd been neutral. Leaving it like that seemed inappropriate too though. He remembered their demeanour had been decidedly different back then. Less restrained. Everything had been intuitive then, rather than this stiff reality. Gary sighed out. Maybe he wasn't as ready for this as he thought.
The drive was slow for the most part, Ariana glancing to Gary as she thought for a while.
“Maybe both?” She said thoughtfully, mulling it all over in her head because if she was being honest, she hadn’t actually tried to envision it. She was sure they would know when they the right colour or right wallpaper. They could do an accent wall, that would be a nice touch maybe. Ariana paused at a red light and looked to Gary. She had to admit it likely didn’t matter what colour the walls were or what pretty designs were up, a newborn wouldn’t mind and if everything went accordingly, Ariana supposed the cot would be moved to their room for the first couple of weeks at least.
Ariana parked you outside the hardware store and figured this was a start. She got out and helped Gary, even though he seemed to be needing less and les of her help recently but it was always there if he needed it. She stepped into the store and it wasn’t a place she was over familiar with, meandering a couple of aisles before eventually seeing the corresponding items boldly spelled out above. Paint first, it was closer. At least there was no pressure from her sister this time, they could be patient and see what looked nicer. Blues filtered to greens and yellows and Ariana figured she might give in to the cliche and go for blue, there were some beautiful shades. Nothing too bright though, she would have liked it to be soothing.
“The powder blue is nice.” She murmured, looking to Gary. She was still careful, this was a big step choosing to paint over the past and welcome in the future.
“I guess we could do some blue walls and then a nice wallpaper on one of them?” She offered up. It was evident Ariana was hardly a DIY expert at these things, she wasn’t very good with her hands and she honestly didn’t think Lisa was either but hopefully there’d be enough people around to steer them right. Mike was pretty crafty, he’d help and Gary would oversee no doubt.
“What goes well with blue paint?” She hummed out, pondering on wallpapers and such. The powder blue was light enough to not give people headaches and still with a nice hint of blue that was comforting. Perhaps a patterned wallpaper or something? Maybe something more simple. Ariana’s constant talk and narration of her own thoughts served to keep her from lingering for now.
With Ri's help, the dishes were done within no time and Gary smirked at his wife's back as she went ahead and got dressed. Gary hopped off to find a fitting shoe for the occasion and waited for Ariana to come back down. Eventually she did, puttering around to fix her coat, barely stuffed in her jeans. Gary decided to leave the remarks about her ever growing belly no longer really fitting those jeans out, for fear of ruining Ariana's good mood. She really shouldn't be trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant.
Maybe some lingering insecurity withheld her still. Gary found his own coat, stuck his keys in there with his wallet and waited for Ri to get ready too.
"Ready?" he asked, when it looked like Ariana had everything together.
Gary stepped outside and shivered at the chill in the air. Small puffs of condensation caught on the air on each exhale and Gary wondered for a brief second whether they'd be getting snow again. His nightmare from before hadn't left anything to remember, but Gary did still feel the sense of fear and urgency it had left behind. He'd been having nightmares a lot, actually. Memories he hadn't really been able to conjure up before now came up unasked and unwanted. Gary didn't care to recall what pain he'd been in right after the accident, or the disorienting confusion his arrival at the hospital had been.
Rather than dwell, Gary forced himself to move towards the car. They had nicer things to focus on, like preparing for the baby's arrival. He made himself comfortable in the passenger's seat, looking forward to the moment where he would be able to drive again. Actually, maybe it was just as well Ri was going to have a c-section scheduled. Gary wasn't sure whether he'd be able to drive by then. Surely he would? Which brought up his lost car, still parked somewhere at the pub. He really ought to ask Mike to go pick it up one day. Not that he knew where his car-keys had wound up.
Gary turned up the heating and sighed out.
"So... wallpaper or paint? Or both?" he started. They could do an accent wall or whatever. He'd love to see Lisa and Ri try their hand at putting up wallpaper.
Ariana watched Gary, smiling a little and shaking her head at his offer. She wasn’t sure how eggs would sit with her but so far there had been nothing to indicate she should be wary, better safe than sorry though. She offered up a second smile at his compliment, a little relieved he wasn’t disgusted by her given how gross she was in the mornings.
“Hm?” She murmured as she caught up with the conversation. Going out to the hardware store without a clucking sister wouldn’t be looking over and it would make for time spent with Gary. This somehow felt like an intimate event, one that wasn’t meant to be shared, as selfish as it sounded.
“Sure. That’s a great idea!” Gary certainly looked up for it, he didn’t seem tired or warding off pain or a headache or anything. She figured she should get dressed, going out in a robe wouldn’t exactly do her any good as she pushed herself up, watching him with the dishes.
“I’ll dry.” She bargained as she found the towel, drying up the dishes as they were handed to her and she bummed along, thoughtfully. Once finished, she headed upstairs to get dressed. If it was summer, then she might’ve opted for a summer dress and abandon the thought of jeans but she wasn’t ready for those pregnancy pants just yet.
Ariana eventually settled on the looser jeans she was clinging onto and a long jumper, fixing her hair and finding her comfortable boots. Ariana headed back down to locate her bag by the door, rummaging through and eventually dropping her phone. She fixed her coat, eventually she knew the bump would become too much to hide, not that she wanted to but she was grateful for still being able to wear jeans. Ariana figures they could pick up ingredients for dinner while they were out as well, two birds with one stone.
Two fork-fulls of food, that was it? Gary was almost surprised at seeing Ri eat that little, but he should've known. Rather than push it, Gary sat down and started eating what was left.
"I guess so," he confirmed. He did feel more rested. And his stomach wasn't adverse of a decent meal either, so Gary trusted his body to recover in ample time. Soon would be physical therapy. Gary wasn't exactly looking forward to it, but every day was one closer to normalcy, or whatever they'd regressed to before the accident and Ri's pregnancy.
He gave Ri a smile at the compliment.
"You look pretty good yourself, missus," Gary teased a little.
"You sure you don't want another bite?"
Strange, huh? It was strange. Even though he'd been there for a while now, Gary could appreciate that things were slowly picking up on his side, making his presence a little more known. Ri's soft words were barely audible.
"It is nice," Gary emphasised. It'd been good reconnecting with Ariana in general. Her demeanour had changed around almost completely with the promise of a child on the way, despite their misgivings about whether or not Ri would pull through the whole ordeal. Not for the first time, Gary felt a deep-rooted respect for women and how they willingly went through the trials of pregnancy for the sake of a child. It was a big sacrifice to make. Maybe the biggest.
Gary finished what was left of the omelette and sat back a little.
"Did you want to go and see about some paint in a minute?" he offered. He felt reasonably okay right then. Surely a short visit to the hardware store wasn't going to spell out the end of the world, was it? Maybe it was best they fetched paint in advance. No Lisa to spoil whatever choice they saw fit. Or at the very least they could get inspired about what they wanted the baby room to look like.
Gary took a deep breath and got up, putting the dishes in the sink and pouring water for washing them up. He'd caught Ri doing that far too often and she shouldn't have to clean every single thing in the house. Actually, Gary suspected Ri would have a tough time doing much of anything right after the baby was born. A c-section was still a major surgery. It worried him more than he cared to admit.
Ariana watched as Gary worked on the omelette, thinking for a while.
“Maybe.” A whole omelette would be too much, she knew that much. It wasn’t exactly a big lunch but she didn’t want to overload her system either, it would serve for terrible vengeance tomorrow if she overate but his cooking did look great. She rummaged around for a fork, a few bites wouldn’t hurt and she knew it would take away worry for her. Keen, green eyes looked over the omelette and she used the side of her fork to slice a little off. She tried it for a while thoughtfully and it tasted amazing, a nice thing to wake up to for sure.
“Yeah, did you?” She asked as she took another forkful before setting the cutlery down, her appetite sated for now. She watched Gary, eyes level and relaxed. She did feel better after some extra sleep and she settled in a seat,
“You look great.” Ariana said, quietly. It was different seeing him up and able to do things, even if it wasn’t much and there was something about how at ease he looked that was reassuring to her, hopeful even. It seemed like a long time, the past couple of days and Ariana was relieved to see him looking less feverish and more alert. She could do dinner tonight, maybe even entice him to help out a little.
“It’s strange having you home for lunch.” She commented, thoughtfully, mind wandering. Usually she would see him off in the mornings and wouldn’t see him until the evenings, when he used to come home for dinner. The past year or so, she hadn’t seen much of him. It was odd how things had worked out, when they had been casually hooking up they had barely been able to keep their hands off one another, then had come marriage and all the excitement of future plans, slowing down in some places but not in others. The big changes had come after the miscarriage, Ariana saddened and wallowing in grief, and Gary avoiding home like a crime scene.
“It’s nice, though.” She murmured, meaningfully because as much as things had been stressful, it was nice to be able to have meals with him and not worry about when he would be home or what he was up to.
Arms slipped around his waist and Gary glanced back only momentarily before focussing on the food.
"Morning," he greeted his sleep-addled wife and smirked to himself. The tables were slowly turning, weren't they? Whereas he was getting more and more energy to use during the day, Ri's was slowly getting less as the baby inside her belly grew. Gary could feel the bump pressed up against his back, a promising sign of Ariana's ever developing pregnancy. Each day that went by untroubled was a victory in Gary's books.
"I'm making omelettes, hungry for one?" Gary asked gently. He wouldn't force a heavy meal like this on Ariana, but couldn't help but think it'd do her some good. Gary flipped some of the mushrooms and fried the tomatoes to go on the side. The egg was the last he'd cook, since it'd only take a few minutes in the already heated skillet.
"I can cook you something else?" Gary offered up as an alternative. He wouldn't settle for Ariana not eating. If he was hungry, than she ought to be too, considering she was now eating for two and everything. Cheesecake wasn't likely going to be what Gary cared to cook Ri, but he couldn't make everything perfect.
"Just try a bite and see," he suggested, plating up some of the vegetables. Gary didn't waste much time preparing the egg either, sliding it neatly alongside the vegetables. It'd been a while since he'd actually done the cooking, aside from the other night. Usually lunches were spent with mates, out on the road from or to the office or at location. Whatever convenience was closest, honestly.
Gary took out a fork and jabbed at some of the food. Even if Ri was eating it, it'd be too big a portion for her alone, considering Gary had made it with himself in mind. Selfish, maybe.
"Did you sleep okay?" he asked conversationally. Ri looked a bit brighter after having slept. Gary hoped he looked a little healthier too, frankly. He was tired of all the worrying looks sent his way all the time. Speaking of which, he really ought to give his parents another call.
Ariana wasn't going to fight falling asleep, they'd been up early and after her rude awakening, she just wanted to sleep it off and think about possibly being a little more alive later. She watched Gary come over, make hims.elf comfortable and offered no protest, instead cuddling up to his close proximity. He felt cooler, less feverish and hot. That was a good sign, she supposed and it at least lulled her into a sense of security as her eyes slipped closed again.
Even Gary's start and fright didn't seem to wake her as she instead mumbled something unremarkable as she settled amongst the blankets. It was only scant few minutes later that she seemed more inclined to properly wake up to the world. It was later, she figured out after blinking and adjusting to the waking world. Something was cooking, and Gary wasn't at her side. Ariana sat up, shifting the blankets and yawning. She took a minute to stretch her limbs out and ran a hand through her hair, smoothing some of the stubborn curls back.
Ariana got to her feet and looked over to Gary in the kitchen, wandering over to Gary and slipping her arms around him, peeking to see what he was making. Looked like an omelette and she thought for a while, pondering on whether or not something like that would turn her stomach. She certainly felt fine, perhaps a little hungry after earlier and she figured she'd have to pick up her appetite to make up for the losses from the morning. She pressed a kiss to the back of his neck and seemed content standing there for now, she was better rested now, feeling a bit brighter and ready to face off at a somewhat productive day. Going to the shop was productive enough.
"Yeah, could you perhaps stop that, thank you? It'd be kindly appreciated," Gary joked when Ri said she'd turned into a gross sort of early-morning monster. Her sorry seemed genuine though and Gary sighed out deeply. Gary shifted from his seat and moved over to the couch, sinking down next to Ri with a heavy flop. He set his crutches on the floor and rested back. There was something on television reminiscent of last night and Gary owlishly watched the colourful images drift by. Much like last night, the grey noise worked perfectly to drown out any thought, though Gary felt the makings of a headache brewing at his temples.
"Sounds good," Gary agreed and then decided Ariana could be made to share the blanket she'd confiscated. He wiggled his way underneath the fabric and closer to Ri, an arm around her for warmth. His temperature was close to normal now, which was a good thing. Gary found a pillow to stuff under his head and closed his eyes. Once his eyes closed, his eyelids burnt with exhaustion and once that sensation eased off, Gary was already halfway asleep again. It didn't take long for dreams to invade his reality.
He woke with a snap some time later.
An explosion on the television rattled his nerves and Gary took in gulps of air to still his wildly pounding heart. The second he realized it was just the television, Gary sighed out in frustration. He felt better now though. More awake. Judging by the light filtering into their home, it was easily closer to the noon mark than the early dawn they'd gotten up at. Gary pushed his hair back and slowly sat up, resting there for a second as he tried to work through the haze that had covered his thoughts like a blanket.
There was nothing to do. Nowhere to be. The rush that'd coursed through his veins slowly came to a grinding halt. Gary looked around and figured he might eat something. Breakfast that morning had only been toast and after yesterday's fast, he was due a proper meal. Maybe an omelette or something.
Still a bit dazed, Gary found his crutches and untangled himself from the couch to shuffle into the kitchen in search of something decent to cook up. It was a bit hesitant at first, like always after waking up, but soon Gary let his muscle memory take over. A bowl, some eggs, a little milk and chopped mushrooms, some tomato. More and more his leg was just becoming a nuisance, rather than a painful burden. He was more than ready to get the cast off.
Oh yeah, milk probably wasn’t the best idea. Ariana furrowed her brow slightly as she checked the fridge, sure enough there was still half left. Milk wouldn’t sit right but there was a definite want for something sweet.
“Think they do those dairy free cheesecakes?” She asked, tepidly. She figured she would spot something she liked, or something that took her fancy and dated whatever sweet itch she had.
“Oh, coffee.” She said and checked the jar, sure enough some more coffee would be in order. Ariana found a scrap piece of paper to jot down some things and then settled on the couch, she could go later, right?
Ariana looked back at Gary when he questioned as to why they were up so early.
“Because, I’m very sorry to inform you but your wife has turned into some sort of gross monster in the mornings.” She lamented with a deep sigh. In all honesty, she should have let Gary sleep more, he wasn’t exactly fighting fit right then and she knew that he needed the rest to recover properly. She knew it would take a while, and her turbulent mornings weren’t helping. Some small part of her wanted to offer setting up a spare bed, so that his mornings wouldn’t be interrupted with sickening sounds.
“Sorry.” She murmured quietly as she rested back and pulled the thing blanket over her bare legs, it was comfortable and yeah, it was still early. She could go to the shop later, pick up whatever they needed in.
Ariana fumbled for the remote, switching the television on and letting it buzz in the background. Getting up early to throw up and then getting excited about future plans of choosing colours really took it out of her. Maybe everyone was right about slowing down a little. They still had four months to get everything sorted, providing she wasn’t premature or anything of the like. And that they made it that far. Ariana opened her eyes to watch the flickering images on the television, not even sure what she was watching at that stage.
“I’ll go later, just round to the local one.” She defended her lazy attitude.
Going down the stairs was a slow journey. Gary finally made it all the way and hobbled over to the kitchen. His head swam a little with exhaustion, fighting the drug-induced fever all night having taken it out of him quite profoundly. Still, Gary mechanically went through the motions of making toast. Ri joined him halfway through to pop on the kettle and Gary took out some jam. Slow, meticulous motions got the toast prepared enough to plate up and dish out. Gary sat down at the kitchen table and feared he might never leave the chair after. Dreamy eyes stared out at nothing as Gary went and sluggishly drank his tea.
Ri's voice called him back.
"Didn't you go yesterday?" Gary pitched, but figured Ri might just want to get out more than anything else. Her bid for cheesecake made his eyebrows go up however. Gary bit into his toast.
"There's milk in cheesecake, I thought we concluded that didn't sit well with you," he pointed out. Cravings might be an exception though. Who was he to know?
"Chicken sounds good though," Gary agreed. It'd be easy on the stomach. Maybe paired with some rice or noodles. Without realizing he'd cleared his plate.
"Just... you know, take it easy today," he said. Gary didn't want to stop Ariana from doing the things she liked doing, but it had only been barely an hour ago that Ri was worshipping one of porcelain tendencies. Whereas in that same amount of time Gary felt like giving up on staying away indefinitely. Ariana's morning sickness should've waited if he'd intended to wake up rested. Gary rubbed at his eyes and watched Ariana. Some colour remained in her face, even after cooling down from the bath. She looked healthy.
It was so treacherous.
"Do we still have coffee?" Gary posed, mind finally catching up to what Ri asked. "I miss having coffee." He was blabbering nonsense again. Gary was pretty sure last night had been similar. How Ri put up with him sometimes, he didn't know. Gary warmed his hands on his tea and just sat like that for a while. Ever since the accident, slowing down was no longer the challenge it had been; speeding up was.
Gary rubbed at his eyes and brushed his hair back, barely stifling another yawn.
"Why did we get up this early again?" he asked gently.
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