Gary watched the nurse dig through her memory, pairing the information Cassandra had on her patient with what she was seeing presented before her. He agreed that medicine might not be the answer. With the baby in Ri's body, no medication might be their best bet, but at the same time it was important Ariana was safe. An appointment card was handed over and Gary watched the exchange. Ri seemed timid at the whole affair and didn't ask any questions herself. Did she feel exposed?
Well, maybe she ought to. Gary sighed. There was nothing they could do right now and everything seemed in order. Whatever values Ri's blood-pressure had been, they hadn't been cause for any major concerns just yet. Gary reluctantly accepted the answers they'd been given and followed Ariana out the door.
"Thank you," he muttered and caught up with Ri.
Once they sat down in the car, Ri turned on the car and cast him a look. Gary was about to say something when Ariana interrupted him with reassurance.
"Have you even bothered using that blood-pressure thing they gave you?" he questioned, then sank back in the car chair. His headache was more prominent now and Gary knew it didn't bode well if he continued trying to start an argument. He cast a glance at Ariana and sighed out. It was a harmless raise in blood-pressure, that was all.
"Let's just... let's just try to be more consistent with the vitamins and rest, yeah?" Gary tried to mitigate his own foul mood away from an argument. Starting one in the car wasn't a good idea anyway. Nowhere to go and stressing Ariana out more than she already was while in a vehicle she was meant to operate didn't seem like a particularly bright idea.
"When was the next appointment?" he asked, out of curiosity and to challenge himself to actually start remembering dates and times again. It was unsettling how much of those types of things actually clung to memory these days. His own was soon too, he knew that much. Gary resolved to finding the card he'd been given by Dr Sterling or whatever nurse had assisted that day and find out when he was due in. Maybe he'd call his mother and ask her to assist around the house while Ri was pregnant so she could get some more rest. Gary was lost in thought, staring out the window of the car at what passed by.
They needed more help around the house regardless. If he went back to work full time at the end of Ariana's pregnancy, she'd need people around to help her. To watch her. Gary realized he was scared, more than anything, that something might happen while no one was around.
The nurse, Cassandra as her little white name badge read glanced up and looked to Gary.
“Well, it could simply be that morning sickness is taking a toll.” She started as she snapped off her protective gloves and watched the two with a kind expression.
“Make sure and take time off your feet, be sure that your eating enough.” She explained thoughtfully as she noted a few things down. She was aware Ariana could do with a couple more pounds on her frame but she didn’t like to push these things and certainly the woman looked healthier than she had been.
“I’m reluctant to prescribe any sort of medication, as I’m sure you understand.” She said as she printed off a next appointment card and handed it to Ariana who was just shrugging into her coat.
“Thanks.” She murmured quietly and thought for a while.
“I’ll rest more and eat a bit more.” She said, assuringly to the nurse. It was odd because she didn’t exactly feel any different, maybe it had been the morning sickness prior to the appointment.
“Did you experience morning sickness today?” Cassandra asked, casually. A nod from Ariana was her response and Cassandra gave a small smile of reassurance,
“If the morning sickness continues longer then give us a call and book an appointment. Every woman is different but with any luck the sickness will start to fizzle out.” She said as she got the door for the couple.
“I’ll see you in a week or so, take care.” The nurse said as Ariana stepped out and looked a little frazzled. It was probably just the morning sickness taking it out of her system.
Ariana was quiet as they made their way back to the car and she was grateful for the blast from the heaters when she turned the car on. She looked to Gary, unsure of what to say.
“Probably doesn’t help I wasn’t well this morning. I’ll keep an eye on it.” She said to him, knowing it didn’t offer much reassurance. If they hadn’t lost their first child then she guessed she wouldn’t be stressing so much about a high blood pressure result but it just seemed to add to the problems right then.
Both of them were nervous. Gary sat sprawled out in the uncomfortable seats littering the waiting room and zoned out staring at Ariana's fingers plucking at a fray on her coat. He wanted to reach out, stop her fiddling, but just as he was about to put motion to that thought a nurse called them out. Ri quietly followed and Gary had no other choice but to close the procession. Without any further prompting, Ri readied herself for the scan on the bed and Gary just stood there, a little awkward with his leg dangling heavily from his knee.
His eyes were on the nurse, whose facial expression didn't quite move here or there. Neutral then? Gary prided himself on reading people's genuine thoughts or feelings before they were even voiced, which made him a good journalist, but he had to admit that either he wasn't on top of his game or this nurse was well-versed in putting on a poker-face.
Probably a bit of both, to be honest. Gary looked down at Ri again and put a hand to her shoulder as the nurse finally allowed them to see the screen. A small smile played on his lips at the sight of a living baby. A fast heart-beat and high blood pressure. Gary wondered what the implications of that were and whether it was because Ri had been nervous for the scan. He'd roped Ri into resting often over the course of the last few weeks, but they'd just been getting back into the swing of things.
Gary tried to think and recall whether he'd seen Ariana use the blood-pressure device they had at home and came up with nothing to show other than a headache. She hadn't measured her blood-pressure herself at any single time. Even the vitamins had been here and there.
Nothing to worry about, right. Gary tried to relax and temper the flaring anger from rising up any further. He felt Ri could do more than she was doing to take care of herself better, but now was maybe not the time to have that conversation.
"So everything is alright?" Gary started, looking from the nurse to Ariana. He just had to be more on top of things, help remind Ri to take the pills and slow down. Not that he could do much about the house the way he was, honestly. At the very least he could stop relying on Ri to do as much for him. He was doing better, so he didn't need doting on as much.
"Is there anything else that can be done against high blood pressure?" Gary asked. Rest, yes, but how likely would it be Ri could sit and just relax?
The drive was quiet for the most part, and familiar given the amount of trips they had taken lately. Ariana was pretty sure by the end of this she would be well and truly over hospital trips. A space near the entrance was found, gratefully and she switched the car off. Every one of these visits was nerve fraying because she was constantly afraid that maybe the heartbeat wouldn’t be found and really, she wasn’t entirely sure she would even realise any of it. She took a breather before getting out of the car because she was carrying strength for her and Gary right then. Gary wasn’t weak but he did need her strength and she would gladly give as much as she could.
It was quiet, not busy at all inside as Ariana followed the directions of a smiling receptionist up to one of the corridors to a little, empty waiting room. She wasn’t sure why the more they advanced in the pregnancy, the more scared she got. She guessed it was normal, these things weren’t exactly set up to be welcoming and warming given the white walls and posters littered with warnings and such.
“Mrs Jenkins?” An auburn haired woman appeared, looking a little older than her and Ariana looked up from where she had been fiddling with a fray on her coat. She was quiet as she followed into a sterile room and glanced around.
“You get yourself settled, love.” The nurse explained as she busied around getting her own bits and pieces together. Ariana knew the drill by now, laying down on the bed after disrobing most of her layers and lifting the shirt she had on so her stomach was exposed. Even the cool jelly didn’t come as much of a shock anymore, and she was just apprehensive to see their son. The nurse watched the screen for a while and took a few notes, thoughtfully.
Finally she allowed them to see the screen, Ariana feeling relieved to see the ultrasound and reassure that everything was okay. She looked to the nurse,
“Baby’s heartbeat is a little fast, nothing to worry about but I’m going to take your blood pressure, alright?” She said as she ushered Ariana to sit up and offer her arm. It was always uncomfortable, that tightening feeling and the nurses silence as she noted the numbers on the panel.
“How have you been?” She asked, casually and Ariana thought for a moment.
“Fine. Morning sickness has been a little... tiring but overall fine.” Ariana explained as the nurse tooth out a stethoscope and fumbled to find Ariana’s own heartbeat, listening closely.
“Your blood pressure is a little high. Nothing serious, nothing we want to medicate for but try and take an hour a day to relax alright?” She knew it must be hard on the couple because she could tell Gary was hardly in a fit state to carry all of the weight. Ariana just nodded feebly.
“It’s really nothing to worry about. Baby is fine and your blood pressure is a little high, it’s fairly common in new mothers. We just want to make sure you’re getting enough rest.” The nurse smiled, looking to them both.
In the time it took to prepare his toast and eat it, Ri had picked away at hers. Gary sipped at the hot tea, watching her go about feeding herself with considerable trepidation. All faith in her body had gone clear out the window, huh? Gary retreated upstairs after a glance to the clock, sluggishly going about getting ready to go out. He couldn't fit in jeans, so stuck to the usual sweat-pants and t-shirt, paired with a woolly cardigan. It'd be hot in the hospital and they'd be going from door to door anyway, so Gary figured he'd leave his coat out. His head was still trapped in a haze, but he'd resigned to suffer through it. Nothing spectacularly different from usual when he'd be hungover anyway.
Gary wandered downstairs to grab some of his things and looked up at Ariana.
"Yeah, won't your sister feel passed up? She declined last time, didn't she?" he furrowed his brow, his memories bleary. Lisa should've been with Ri when she'd been taken in to hospital after her fainting spell. Maybe she'd been there for the scan too. Gary rubbed his forehead, willing the headache to go down and allow him to think. The endeavour wasn't very successful.
A brisk cold assaulted him on stepping out after Ariana. Gary shut the door behind, slowly learning how to do things with crutches and everything in hand. That same brisk cold was tempered when Ri turned on the car-heating. She'd wrapped up and Gary raised an eyebrow at that.
"You'll be warm in the hospital," Gary pointed out. That said, the first few times he'd gone for a checkup, his coat had been a godsend, though he'd been running a fever then. Gary hauled in his crutches and reached for the door.
Nerves rushed through his gut. Ri had been sick today, so she was likely still pregnant. In a way it was promising, though the morning-sickness did little for Ariana's health. He hoped it wasn't a forbodance to more complications.
It was busy out on the streets. Work resumed after the winter holidays, it seemed. Gary just stared out the window, barely registering anything. His brains had given up on being active after yesterday's work-day and Gary knew better than to fight it. It'd just have him ending up with another headache to show for it. At least the time during which he could focus and be active slowly increased. He snapped out of his daze once the familiar building of the hospital towered on the horizon. His appointment would be tomorrow then, wouldn't it? Or the day after? Usually Ri reminded him, since his planning skills had gone out the door after the accident, but Gary started to realize that he couldn't rely on Ariana to do everything for him all the time.
The roles would be reversed before he'd be good and well ready for them to do so.
Ariana looked up, every so slightly grateful for the distraction from the food which she had eaten half of. It was a little uncomfortable having such an empty stomach but a distinct fear of actually eating anything, just in case.
"A bit." She said at his question as she begrudgingly started on the second half of the toast. A hand raked through the stubborn curls as she finished the toast and jam after what seemed like forever and silently willed her body not to betray her again. She knew it was most likely all part of the process but that didn't mean she enjoyed any of it. She felt awful.
Ariana looked over to Gary when he mentioned her looking better and she gave a lopsided smile, figuring he was just saying it to be nice. She didn't feel much better, drained more than anything and after the episode earlier, she just felt gross despite the shower.
"Thanks." She murmured gratefully, glad at least he was willing to compliment her despite feeling awful. She knew her appetite would spike later, that tended to happen and at least she had eaten something and washed it down with some tea. Ariana took a moment to wash the plate and set it away, adjusting the jeans and jumper she had on, making sure she hadn't clumsily spilled jam and stained her last resort of nice clothes. She wasn't quite ready to give in to pregnancy clothes just yet, if it was summer than at least she would have the option of flowy dresses or something. Alas, the cold outside was biting.
"We should invite your mom to the next one, when we know the date." She said thoughtfully as she glanced to the time and realised they had best be moving soon. She could drive, she felt well enough to manage that small feat. Coat and scarf joined her attire as she nestled down in the warm layers, fondling around for her keys and appointment card. She gave the cupboards a quick look over and the fridge, she would have to pick up some milk on the way back and bread. Ariana made her way out and put the car heater on, glad the car wasn't frosted up at least as she waited for Gary to get comfortable, which was his very own feat these days.
Gary woke to a cold bed. Ri was already gone when finally the waking world called him back. Gary brushed a hand down his face and took a deep breath, blinking at the abandoned pillow as if coming to grips with the fact that Ariana was an independent human being, capable of going where she pleased when she pleased. His headache still simmered, but it wasn't anywhere near as debilitating as it had been upon waking.
Now that it wasn't crippling his every waking thought, his stomach finally got to have a say too. Gary felt a little hungry. At long last, he sat up, lured down the stairs by the scent of toast on the air.
Attempt number two for Ariana, it appeared. Gary waddled into the kitchen and popped in some more slices of bread to have. Hopefully it'd settle headache a little and then he'd be ready to accompany Ri to the hospital.
He regarded her, drowsy and still a bit dazed. Would she be alright to drive? He would've insisted, if his leg allowed him to drive. Not that he'd make a very good driver right then. Gary set about making himself some tea, pouring the mug with the cold away. It wouldn't be any good.
"Did you sleep a little?" Gary pitched, glad some colour had returned to Ariana's cheeks. And she was trying to eat. Another bonus for someone who would otherwise rather skip a meal or two. His toast popped and Gary balanced on one leg and a crutch to get the things he needed to get something slathered on there for taste. Same with the tea, until he had a reasonable, if not light, breakfast. Gary figured he'd make up for it with dinner, provided his stomach played nice with brunch.
A quick glance at the time taught him they still had a little time before they had to leave. For the first time in a while, he actually remembered what Ri had said. Maybe it'd been the rush of worry and adrenalin over Ri getting sick again that made him remember the time. Gary bit into his toast, trying to reason whether he could skip having a shower today or not.
"You look a little better anyway," he started, noting the worn jeans. She'd soon grow out of those, or any of the more fashionable sections of her wardrobe, but Ri obviously hadn't given in to Lisa's choices in pregnancy pants either. A small smile played across his lips. He was nervous, Gary realized. They had every hope to see a living, breathing baby on that scan today. Their son just had to be okay. There weren't any other options.
A firm yet gentle grasp on her elbow caused Ri to pause as she sighed out. His invitation was too tempting to pass up as she nodded. She did feel a bit better, a little drained and she was sure the bed would fix that. She hoped.
“Sorry.” She breathed as she got into bed, wiggling out of the jeans because it would remain comfortable as she shivered a little and huddled under the blankets. Going to the hospital early didn’t seem like a good idea for either of them, maybe the nurse at the ultrasound would know how long this would keep up. She fidgeted first a while before getting comfortable and she figured this wasn’t any good. Food later, when her system allowed it.
Ariana caught a glimpse of those blue eyes, how often had she lost herself in those depths, happy to drown? His words came out of the blue and Ariana furrowed her brow, a little taken aback. Did he think she doubted him? She didn’t. She was worried, she was scared for their future but she didn’t doubt him.
“I know.” She said to him quietly as she leaned in pressed a kiss to his cheek, relieved as she tangled up with him to just rest. She figured she couldn’t feel sick if she was sleeping. Ariana fixed a pillow before finally settling down and closing her eyes.
Ariana woke with a start a few hours later. A little more colour in her cheeks and she gingerly sat up, testing the waters with her body. Ariana rested back against the headboard and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Best to avoid milk entirely then, no matter how much she craved chocolate cereal. Ariana takes a hand through her tousled mop of blonde and eyed the room, hesitantly. She checked the time and figured they had about an hour before they had to leave and she sighed. Attempt number two at food, as she untangled from the blankets and fought a yawn. Jeans slipped onto her legs and Ariana made her way downstairs, a bit more awake than she had been. Ginger tea first and foremost as she put some bread in the toaster. Vitamins were washed down with some water and Ariana finally sat on the couch, eyeing the toast with jam, half daring it to repeat on her.
And off she bolted. Gary watched Ri dash off to the toilet and grimaced in sympathy as he could hear faint retching noises. Breakfast didn't seem to agree with Ri any more than it had appealed to him. She'd been sensitive to milk before, so Gary wasn't sure why she'd gone for it today. When it seemed to quiet down and the shower started running, Gary figured it was safe to venture upstairs without risking a sympathetic reaction. In the end he'd zoned out and by the time he did climb up, Ri was already getting dressed. She looked pale and a little strung.
"Hey," Gary announced himself.
"Feeling better?" he asked softly, shuffling into the bedroom to intercept Ariana's lethargic tidying up. A hand caught her by the elbow.
"Do you want to join me for a bit?" Gary nodded at the bed. Just lying down for a bit and resting might restore the balance to her stomach enough to eat something and be ready for her ultrasound.
"Don't want to end up in hospital before the appointment is due again, do we?" he joked half-heartedly. "C'mon," Gary encouraged Ri, but let her decide for herself in the end.
He sank down onto the soft sheets and repositioned the pillows a little so he could lay down comfortably. Gary wasn't keen to admit he probably needed the lie-down more so than Ariana did. He shoved his bare foot underneath some covers and pulled the duvet up a little. Warmth went a long way to make a stomach feel more comfortable.
Gary let his breathing slow down, consciously relaxing his shoulders and back, until he practically felt the tension drain from his muscles and undo some of the tightness around his neck. The headache remained, just about where he'd hit the car-door window that night, but Gary knew it couldn't really be helped. He didn't want to take more painkillers. Ri needed his support.
His steel blue eyes looked at Ariana sympathetically.
"I'll take care of you, Ri," he promised. "You'll see. I'll take care of you and the baby." Gary wasn't even sure where the words came from. His mental barriers were barely up as they were and it was simply too early to be any type of cognizant.
His eyes drifted close as if on their own accord not long after. Gary was helpless to fight the dreaded pull of sleep and sank off into a dreamless void far more easily than he had the night before.
Ariana looked up as Gary came down and watched him, the injuries he’d sustained mixed with a hangover certainly didn’t seem to be going well for him but she didn’t mention it. She furrowed her brow as she set her bowl aside,
“Is that today?” That’s what she got for being half asleep. She pushed herself up and rummaged through one of the drawers for her appointment cards. She looked to the time and then the clock.
“One thirty.” She murmured, still some time away and she ran a hand over her face. It was time to at least shower and get everything together. She could drive and given it was a normal check up, she didn’t see the need to bother Lisa with anything. Besides, she wasn’t sure she could take much more talk of baby showers.
Ariana zones out for a while, setting the card on the table before feeling a little woozy. Maybe chocolatey milk hadn’t been a great combination and she sighed out, praying it would pass over because she had done so well to avoid any morning sickness the past few days. It wasn’t to be and Ariana straightened up with haste as she made her way up stairs. She’d barely heard Gary’s want for more sleep as she made it to the bathroom in a nick of time. Chocolate and milk were to be avoided for the foreseeable future then, at least until this past and she made a note to ask how long this would go on for. Typical, the first tome she had been actively hungry in the morning and it was for nothing. Toast, later. Ariana drew in a few deep breaths, before tentatively flushing and brushing her teeth. Red cheeked from the exertion and a little pale she took a few moments.
Shower, right. She hopped in for a quick shower, feeling considerably empty as she dried off and wrapped a towel around herself, heading into the bedroom and sitting on the edge of the bed as she rummaged around for clothes. Jeans didn’t seem a great choice but she wasn’t going to give in to the maternity stuff just yet as she decided on some loose jeans that were well worn and a baggy jumper. Ariana shuffled around and tidied up, rubbing her temples. She knew she had to eat but the very thought turned her stomach again, ginger tea would be a good idea given it had kept off the morning sickness until now. She felt lousy and useless right then, perhaps a touch emotional because if this kept up then she wouldn’t be of use to anyone really in the coming months and that was terrifying. Gary still needed some help, regardless of what he said. Male pride be damned, and she wanted to help and cook and clean and do all she could.
Finding the damned painkillers was a mess, which Gary contributed to how drowsy he still felt. It was far too soon to be up, but Ariana wandered in no more than a few minutes later, presumably awoken by his rummaging about. Gary sat at the kitchen table, nursing a glass of water and waiting for the pain-relief to dull the edges. He dazedly followed Ariana's motions as she set about making herself breakfast and sipped at the water set out in front of him. At least she wasn't feeling any of the mornings sickness today, which was a small blessing.
"Sorry, did I wake you?" Gary said as Ri sat down to eat breakfast.
It smelled sickeningly sweet and his pallor went two shades paler at the very scent of it. Gary closed his eyes as he breathed a thick sigh, willing his insides to stay in their designated places.
He finally breathed through the wave of nausea and propped his chin up on one hand, the other hand circled around the cool glass of water. The medicine started to work, slowly but surely. Some of the minor aches he hadn't even realized were there, deafened as it took effect. Especially in his leg, Gary realized.
It'd been overshadowed by his headache.
"Wasn't your scan today?" he inquired, taking a few more sips of water. He'd have to rest up before going, otherwise he might let his temper get the better of him. Gary scrubbed at his eyes, wishing he didn't have anywhere to be at all today. Ri on the other hand looked absolutely radiant, even if she'd just woken up.
Gary blatantly stared at her, without scruples.
He sighed out, "I drank too much yesterday," and moved his gaze to somewhere more neutral and found the tea Ri made him. He exchanged the cool water for the tea.
Was Lisa coming to the scan as well? It was the second one, wasn't it? Had she even been there for the previous one? Gary was pretty sure his mother would want to come to at least one, given they were every other week for Ri.
"At what time is it?" Gary started. Maybe he could catch a few hours of sleep and be more with things all around. His headache barely seemed diminished with the painkillers and every time he moved, his brains seemed to slosh behind. Staring at a laptop screen was definitely still taxing, though Gary figured the alcohol didn't actually help matters either.
Neither did the tea. His stomach stirred in an unpleasant way at the introduction of something hot.
"Maybe I'll try to get some more sleep," he sighed out.
“It was nice seeing you happy again.” Ariana answered sleepily, far too content with Gary’s warmth and the bed. Seeing Gary with his friends, relaxed and slightly goofy had been nice and it was a nice. She’d missed out a lot, she figured. She hadn’t really taken a moment to relax properly and the bed was much too inviting for her. Eventually her eyes did close, not of her own direction and she succumbed to sleep. There wasn’t much of anything dream wise, save for a twitch or a shift, Ariana was gone to the world.
It was the clatter in the morning that woke her with a start. She furrowed her brow and groaned slightly, twisting a little to burrow under the blankets, taking a moment to register something had fallen and it may well have been her husband. Ariana sat up and rubbed her eyes with her palms. She stretched and shivered a little, getting up and groping around the wardrobe for her housecoat, wrapping it around herself. She raked a hand through her hair, peering around. It wasn’t late at least, sleepily Ariana made her way downstairs as she set the kettle on. When was her scan again? Tomorrow? Or the day after? And Gary’s appointment... She had to clear the cotton from her mind for sure if she had any hope of functioning properly.
Green eyed focused on the art of making some hot beverages and figuring out how to add milk to cereal to make breakfast. Chocolate cereal at that. Ariana sat at the kitchen counter, stirring the sugary breakfast until the milk went chocolatey too. Was Gary going to go into work again today? As much as Ariana had loved being out yesterday, she wasn’t sure she could cope two days in a row. She still had some work to do from home in the form of emails. A hot drink had been prepared for her husband but she wasn’t sure he would want chocolate cereal, no matter how much she was enjoying it.
It was a relief when the light finally snapped off. The mattress dipped with the weight of Ariana's arrival and Gary watched her settle in. Her eyes shone in what little light filtered into the bedroom.
She'd wanted to come in, was it?
"What changed?" Gary asked, the journalist in him demanding a follow-up question, to dig around for any reasoning. Somehow, he'd gotten away with things. Was it pity that'd soothed Ariana's temper? He'd rather it not be pity. She moved closer and Gary wrapped an arm around her shoulders, stroking some of her hair back. He couldn't even recall the last time they'd been to the pub together and just enjoyed being social. Ariana hadn't felt the desire too after they'd lost the baby and Gary couldn't force her to.
She hadn't even seen many of her friends around that time. Gary wondered whether she'd lost any because of that self-imposed seclusion.
Gary closed his eyes and tried to even out his breathing. He'd been stupidly tired upon coming home, but his nap had whisked away that sensation. All that was left, was a cold worry, rooted deep in the pits of his stomach. It was an icy, sharp sensation, and unpleasant. It whispered worries into his mind about what their future would hold. Ri was blossoming back up, but it was all so fragile.
"Just get some sleep, Ri," Gary muttered into her hair. He wanted her to rest. It'd been a long day on her end too. Or maybe an active day. Going into work seemed to have given her energy, rather than drain it, unlike his situation. Gary laid like that for a while, just listening to Ri's breathing, listening to the wind howling outside and how empty their house was without the child that should've been.
Somewhere along the line, Gary lost himself in a doze, thoughts paused on the lingering alcohol floating about his system. Dreams came and went, passing thoughts that didn't cling to memory or stay for too long, until finally his sleep became deep and Gary was just lost to the world again.
It was early when he woke next. A pounding headache greeted him and he shifted, trying to hide underneath the blankets and regain his hold on sleep to no avail. A pair of blood-shot eyes surveyed the room, slowly coming to terms with where he was. He'd need to move in order to feel more human, that much was evident. Outside the blankets was cold. His one foot experimentally clung to the rug next to the bed as he searched for where he'd abandoned his crutches last. Gary tried not to disturb Ariana, but he wasn't able to prevent the crutches' clacking on the floor as he moved to see to some bodily needs and find some pain relief.
Ariana sighed out, half amused at him.
“I don’t think your back will thank you for that.” She pointed out to him sleeping on the couch but she kept her approach quiet and gentle. She hadn’t had a chance to change and honestly it had been a relief just to be off her feet be in her own home. She watched him and nodded, a little stung because was it really that uncommon? She figured it had been a while since she had dared to enter the pub, afraid of how people would look at her and she suspected that Gary had probably told some tales about her to his mates when he was drunk.
Ariana watched him get up and head upstairs, slower than usual but he managed as she swept away the dishes and made sure everything was tidy. Makeup was washed from her face, teeth brushed and much more comfortable clothing was put on. She dried her face and eyed her reflection, she didn’t think she looked different, perhaps a little fuller in the face than she had been. It didn’t mean much though. She switched out the light and looked to Gary as she got into bed. The day had been taxing but rewarding which was nice, more normal than what she had been.
She’d left the basket in the car, she realised all too late and figured she could get it tomorrow. She got comfortable and looked to Gary, propped up on some pillows.
“I wanted to come in.” She said to him, “The pub, I mean. Been a while.” She said, settling amongst the blankets. He had certainly seemed pleased and she wouldn’t make a habit of invading his time with friends but the odd show of face wouldn’t hurt. Everyone was still asking about a baby shower and she figured she should put some thought to it. Not right now though. Ariana tucked herself in at Gary’s side carefully.
Fingers brushed his forehead and Gary snapped to, dazed and confused. His eyes searched for what had disturbed his sleep, lost momentarily until Ariana gently leaned down to press a kiss to his forehead. Got to bed? The words took a long time to properly filter through and Gary finally started to make sense of some things: first off, he was parked on the couch, head in Ri's lap. Second, he had a pretty fierce headache and three, he'd been asleep because he'd drunk too much. And Ri had put up with him in that state, apparently.
His fingers were tangled in Ri's skirt and he examined the fabric with his fingertips.
"You never changed," Gary remarked.
His brain was in a nice condition if that was all he could come up with. Gary cringed internally, trying to come to grips with what was being asked of him. He lifted his heavy head from its comfortable perch and regarded his fallen frame, then decided there was no reason to move and let it sink back onto Ariana's lap.
"I can sleep here," he argued lamely. His eyes already fluttered closed again and Gary leaned into the warmth Ri provided.
She'd been at the pub, picking him up. And Ri had actually gone inside. At that thought, Gary shifted a little so he could look at Ariana's face and narrowed his eyes.
"You came to pick me up and actually went inside." Confused and more than a little suspicious, Gary tried to read the emotions on Ri's face at that statement. A sigh left his lips. They ought to get to bed. It'd be more comfortable in the long run. Gary disentangled himself from Ri and shifted to sit on the couch, taking stock of how he felt. The sandwich from before settled his stomach to a reasonable extent, but his headache had seen its way through the alcohol daze. Gary pinched the bridge of his nose, rubbing the skin in hopes of making things better, though it was a fruitless endeavour. He blinked open a set of bleary eyes to find his crutches and forced himself to grab them.
Ri couldn't be expected to carry him anywhere, let alone up some stairs, the way she was. With a grunt, Gary rose from his seat and slowly shuffled up the stairs, into the bedroom. He changed out his attire for something more comfortable and even went through the effort of brushing his teeth and washing his face. He felt a bit more refreshed after that, though it did little for his headache. Not even the cool sheets could alleviate that and sleep seemed a bit more evasive this time around. Gary could already tell it was going to be another long night.
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