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Anastasia felt refreshed and honestly she had missed her children. Seeing a Justin and Willow with them was a relief because they settled so well. She was happy she had gotten some time away with Jobe just the two of them and it had helped her reconnect with her husband, as a wife rather than just the mother of his children. She looked to Willow and sat beside her with a small smile,
“They’re probably tuckered out, it must be exciting for them to have their aunt and uncle look after them.” She giggled a little and it was relaxing honestly. Juliet and Fletcher were beginning to get a good sleeping pattern so at least Jobe and Anastasia we’re starting to get proper sleep at nights.
Anastasia watched Justin and Willow and she could sense some sort of tension but she wasn’t sure what it was exactly.
“I’ll get some tea.” She said to them and smiled softly before going and getting a tray of tea. She set it down in the lounge and glanced to Jobe, watching carefully and smiling a little. She did miss him when he was working, of course she did and through the night she made very sure that she was getting up and dealing with the little ones so Jobe wasn’t going to work exhausted.
Justin looked to Willow and sighed.
“It’s not about protecting, Willow. It’s about the risk.” He remarked quietly before cutting off as Jobe and Anastasia came in.
“They’ve been perfect.” He assured them and watched Anastasia flutter off to get a tray of tea. He took a cup gratefully.
“You enjoyed your night, then?” He asked as he saw a renewed smile on their faces and they both look recharged almost. It was quite the thing to behold and honestly, he was somewhat glad. He was still worried about Willow wanting another child if he was honest and he knew that if she really wanted a child he couldn’t deny her, but he also couldn’t protect her.
Regardless of what Willow said, he did blame himself, there was a deep set guilt and shame that he hadn’t even known about their first child, only about their death and that he hadn’t been there for Willow. He exhaled slightly and settled the infant in his arms into her cot in the conservatory before taking a seat. He could discuss it with Willow later but he didn’t want to argue with her and turn this into a fight. They both had to take into account each other’s wants and needs and Justin just didn’t want to lose Willow.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Every second that passed seemed to last a lifetime and her heart seemed to race as she waited for his reaction. The first time, they didn’t really have much of a choice and they had already decided before they married that if she were to fall pregnant they would deal with it. That was before she had lost a baby and now there was fear instilled in both, and Justin could say no. When he spoke, she sighed with relief, but it only lasted a second.
[b “Justin, what happened was an accident. We can be more careful this time.”] She was a little frustrated. Willow was scared too but it wasn’t like there was going to be a second fire that they had to worry about. [b “Is this why you told me about the device? Because you don’t feel like you can protect me here?”] She asked, trying not to let too much emotion show in her voice. [b “I’ve told you so many times that you don’t need to protect me.”] She kept her voice quiet, not wanting to shout or argue with Justin while they were around the children. Their conversation was over for now as Jobe and Anastasia returned, and she smiled towards them.
[b “Of course they haven’t, they have been amazing as always.”] She said, looking over Fletcher who was still sleeping.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] [b “I’m sure they have enjoyed time with their Godchildren as much as we have enjoyed our evening in the theatre my dear.”] He smiled and took hold of her hand and led her towards the carriage so that they could head home. While he had enjoyed his evening, he was glad to see his children when he walked into the conservatory.
He couldn’t help but feel as though they had interrupted something, but he didn’t mention it as he didn’t feel as though it was his place to do so. [b “I am so glad that you have enjoyed your time with them.”] He said with a smile, leaning down to take Juliet from Justin, although her looked perfectly content with her in his arms. [b “I just wanted to free you up. You’ve had them for hours.”]
Justin watched Willow as she spoke and honestly he did want a baby but... what if it went wrong again? His gaze trailed over her. He hadn’t protected her last time, he’d let everything slip through his fingers the last time and honestly he hated himself for it because if he had been with her then he wouldn’t have let her stay in that stables.
“I want to.” He said finally.
“But I’m worried it will happen again.” He murmured to her. He had almost lost Willow last time and not just physically but mentally, she had shattered and was only just getting back to her usual self. He’d be a fool to not be scared.
“I don’t want to lose you, Willow. If it goes wrong.” He was chewing on his words so he didn’t come across as a totally heartless fiend but it was something they had to think about. It could go wrong and he loved Willow and if it came to a choice, he would take Willow every time over a wish of what might be.
“I want to try again, you’d be a great mother but I just-“ he sighed and cut off. He was scared but he didn’t want to admit it to her.
Anastasia honestly wasn’t sure what her reaction would be to being in a poor house again but she was stronger than she had ever been. She knew it would be hard to go to such a horrid place but if they could both help those living there now, then it would be worth it all. She looked to Jobe as he spoke and was lost for a second in her memories of the poorhouse.
“Oh- Yes, I think we should free Justin and Willow from our children.” She laughed a little and started to head back with him.
As much as she had enjoyed her night with Jobe, and then having privacy and some moments alone, she was relieved to be back in the house as she breezes over to her children and smiled to Willow and Justin.
“They haven’t been too much hassle?” She asked as she looked to them both. It was peculiar how being with company could lift her spirits away from dark memories of her beginnings in the poorhouse. She had never really even told Jobe about that place. It seemed like it would cause too much sorrow for him. It wasn’t something she wanted to put on his shoulders.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled towards him as he pulled back from their kiss and she watched the emotion pass over his face. Even though they had been married for some time now, a part of her still couldn’t quite believe how lucky she was to have him in her life. Willow shifted from his lap when Juliet started to fuss. It was now his turn to take care of the girl. She lowered herself back into a chair as she watched him with Juliet, her heart skipping a beat ever so slightly at the sight of them. This is what she had wanted to talk to him about and although the thought of asking him made her nervous she couldn’t think of any better time.
[b “Justin. I want us to try again.”] She said quietly, as if she was nervous about making the suggestion. [b “I want us to have a child of our own.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled widely towards Anastasia as she seemed to agree with his initial idea. With her support he was sure that he would be able to conquer anything and part of him hoped that he would do more than support her, which is why he was so happy when she said that she wanted to help him. He wanted nothing more than to have her work by his side.
[b “I would like nothing more than to have you help me. I think this is important work…for both of us.”] He said as he stopped in front of the river to gaze up at the stars. [b “I still think the view from our back garden is better than it is out here. There are too many lights drowning out the stars.”] He glanced back down at Anastasia. [b “Are you ready to start heading back?”]
Willow was right. They would need to speak with Anastasia ad Jobe about it. He sighed at her words and nodded, feeling her lips against his as he cupped her face gently. He ran a thumb over her cheek and broke apart for a moment, watching her and wanting to remember how her face looked right that moment. She was so very strong and resilient and he wondered how she got that way.
He watched her and smiled,
"I love you too, Willow Gallway." She was his wife. He would go to the end of the Earth for her if it meant her being happy. He never wanted to make her miserable and they had been through so much in their short time. He never wanted to go through any of it again and he knew if it did happen again then it would crush them both. He stroked some hair back from her face and looked to Juliet who was fussing.
"You two are night owls." He remarked as he went over and cradled her in his arms.
Anastasia smiled a little as she listened to him,
"My strength comes from you, Jobe." She reminded him quietly and heard his proposal about the housing. She mulled it over and honestly, it was a no brainer.
"I think that's a wonderful idea." She said to him finally and grinned.
"I don't remember much about the poor house I grew up in, but I do remember the conditions. For orphans and people with nothing- I mean, we were still human. Even something simple like... cleanliness and a bed to sleep in would make all the difference." She mused quietly as she looked up at the sky, seeing the stars speckled over the canvas.
"I don't know much about business, but I'd like to help you this time." She said to him.
"Even if it's just ideas on how to make it bearable." She murmured quietly. It was one thing she never spoke about, the poorhouse and her experiences there. It was work or be whipped and most of the memories were fuzzy and perhaps that was why when she had been punished so badly by the head servant that one time, it had traumatised her so badly into simply doing what she was told.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow reached out to take his hand. [b “I don’t think that this is just our decision anymore Justin. We agreed to become their Godparents.”] She said as she pointed towards the children. [b “I’m not sure if I could abandon them or forget about that responsibility.”] She said with a sigh and then moved to sit in Justin’s lap, feeling the need to be close to him in that moment. Willow placed her hand on his cheek and she look him in the eyes as she spoke. [b “I think we need to talk to Jobe and Anastasia about this.”] She said honestly and placed her forehead on his.
[b “And I thought that topic of conversation I was going to bring up was going to be a big decision.”] She said with a laugh before shaking her head. [b “I love you alright, whatever decision we make, we make it together.”] She pressed her lips against his as if to prove that they were in this together, no matter what.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] When Jobe pulled back he looked into her eyes and smiled. [b “You are the one who surprises me. You are so strong and you do not even know it.”] He took her arm and the two strolled along the streets and admired the beautiful sites of the evening. [b “You are quite right about town at night.”] He said as he watched people pass them by, nodding their head towards them in quiet greeting.
[b “I wanted to talk to you about something. I have been reading a lot in the papers lately about the state of the poor houses and it seems the situation is just getting worse. I wondered what you might think if we try to do something about that? Inspect them, write a report and try to influence change.”]
Justin looked to Willow and sighed. She looked perfect with Fletcher in her arms.
"You know I wouldn't leave you now, regardless of where we were, or when." He murmured although it did concern him too a little if he was honest. Willow was a beautiful woman and going back home could mean more prying eyes to ward off.
"Not fend for themselves but-" He cut off and realised he sounded silly, almost.
"I just, I have to ask because it's a big decision. Whatever you decide I'll support you and go with you." He murmured.
"I just... don't know what is the best decision right now." He remarked and sighed quietly as he pinched the bridge of his nose. Jobe and Anastasia were like family, and honestly, he did worry that diseases and such were rife in this era. He loved Jobe and Anastasia like siblings but he would never forgive himself if something happened to Willow.
Anastasia looked to Jobe,
"I think we can spare some time for a stroll. Town is beautiful at night." She remarked and looked to him as she felt his hand and heard his words. She returned the kiss softly and smiled a little.
"You have never changed, Jobe Hughes, no even since you were a little boy." He had always been compassionate and gentle and quite the charmer. It still shocked her even now that he had chosen a servant girl over some of the grand ladies that had tripped over their feet to get to him.
She took his arm as they walked. She adored how pretty the town was at night, it wasn't as busy like it was through the day and they could just relax and enjoy each other's presences. It was just relaxing and comforting to feel close to him and not have to worry.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Fletcher seemed to get restless now and Willow sighed as she picked him back up and cradled him in an embrace. It was almost as though he knew they were talking of leaving and was becoming disgruntled by the idea of it. [b “Shhh it’s okay. It’s way past your bedtime you know.”] She said towards him as he moved his hand towards her face and started to settle into her slightly. The move made her heart melt and she wanted nothing more than to stay in that moment, but Justin made some good points.
[b “And what if we go back and you find that you don’t love me anymore? That it was all just the convenience of being here and you go back to your work and forget about me?”] It was an irrational fear, she knew that, but it didn’t make it any less real. She stood carefully so that she could lower Fletcher into the cot and he didn’t seem to make a fuss about being put down. Willow moved to lower herself next to Justin and she let out a concerned sigh. [b “And what about our family here? We go back home because there is medicine and leave them here to fend for themselves?”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] When the show was over he joined in with the rest of the audience as the stood in applause and he looked towards Anastasia with a smile. [b “I am glad that you enjoyed it my love. I do hope that you will allow me to take you out more now the twins are growing up.”] He said with a smile as he took hold of her hand and led her out of the theatre. [b “Now, are you desperate to get home or will you join be for a stroll this evening? I want to take advantage of this as much as I can.”] He stopped just outside of the theatre, waiting for her response.
Jobe used a hand to move a piece of hair that had fallen in front of her face and in that moment, he was unable to stop himself. He used his hand to tilt her chin slightly and allowed her hand to rest on her cheek. [b “You really are so very beautiful.”] He said as he leaned down to kiss her.
Justin sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"I thought that too." He murmured. It had been loose wires and a readjustment of a circuit board. He looked to Willow and watched her carefully. They risked a lot staying here, there was no modern medicine for a start.
"I know and you wouldn't lose me, I'd still marry you even if we were in the Jurassic period."He pointed out and he had to agree, Jobe and Anastasia were family now, not just friends. He loved Fletcher and Juliet as if they were his own and Jobe was like a brother.
"I know... And I get it. I just... I worry. There's no modern medicine here, if something goes wrong... Smallpox is still a thing here, Willow. And what if we ever have a kid, there' be no help if something went wrong." He pointed out and sighed quietly. He wouldn't ever make a decision without her and he sure as Hell wouldn't leave her here by herself. Where she went, he went. He sat down and took a drink of water, as if steeling his nerves because this was a big decision. If she was adamant on staying then fine, he would forget the device entirely.
Anastasia smiled to Jobe as the show started. The theatre seemed like such a rare thing and it still captured her the same way it had the first time. Although sometimes she struggled to followed the plotline, the actors and the lights seem to make up for it and she was enthralled. And for the briefest of moments she forgot responsibilities and she was just there with Jobe, like it had been a year ago before they were married. It was so strange to her, sometimes. If she hadn't accepted the offer of the theatre with a nudge from Willow then this would never have happened, none of it.
As the show wound to a close, Anastasia applauded as the lights came back up and she looked to Jobe.
"The theatre is just as magical as it was the first time I went with you." She laughed a little. She didn't seem to notice the looks anymore, or the murmurs that some of the more ignorant members of upper class seemed to have. It was funny how that worked. She didn't care about Jobe's class or his wealth, she was grateful they could live comfortably and could make a difference to his factory workers but otherwise, she loved Jobe. Not the wealth or the class or fancy lifestyle, she loved the man.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow looked up towards Justin with both intrigue and confusion. It seemed that Justin had been keeping something from her and that made her feel slightly nervous. She glanced at Fletcher who was happily sitting in her arms before she looked back towards Justin. [b “What did you do?”] She asked cautiously, mentally preparing herself for whatever it was he was about to say. She had expected him to say an array of things, perhaps telling her that the device had been fixed was not one of them.
[b “But you said it was broken indefinitely, that it couldn’t be fixed.”] She thought about this for a moment and turned away from him, just so that Fletcher could see the gardens. He always liked to look out there. She decided to lower herself to the ground and held Fletcher up, so he could bash his hands on the window and she laughed quietly to herself before looking back towards Justin. [b “I don’t know if I can leave this behind Justin. They are out family…Anastasia, Jobe…the children.”] She shook her head and paused for a moment. [b “…and us. What if we go back and everything changes? We won’t be married there…and everything we have built here will be gone. I can’t lose you too Justin.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe was glad that things between them had seemed to work out so easily. Even though Anastasia had her reservations about how they would make it work, they had and aside from the few looks they received from the uneducated upper class no one said a word to them. As for his business, it was doing better than ever, and it was almost running itself now. Justin made sure that they were all in good health and since Willow had educated some of the workers, he was able to give some of them more responsibility with logging paperwork, which gave him more time at home with his wife a child.
There was something else plaguing his mind though but now was not the time to discuss it with his wife. They were about to enjoy a show and he would mention it to her later. He always ran his ideas through with her first because they were a partnership. With that thought the curtains began to open and the theatre went quiet. [b “Enjoy the show my love.”]
Justin was glad Willow was doing better, honestly. It was a relief but he wasn't sure she would like what he was about to tell her.
"Willow- Before... The miscarriage I did something." He said to her quietly. "You know I hate leaving broken things so... I fixed the device. We could go home." He said, honestly he wasn't sure he even wanted to go home. They had built a life here, a successful life that they had together. Jobe and Anastasia had been so kind and they had made a close friendship with them both. It seemed so odd to think they could just flit back to their regular lives at home.
"I'm not sure what to do." He confessed as he looked to Fletcher and Juliet. If they went home, there was no guarantees they could get back and honestly, it seemed odd to just be flying visitors. He had confidence in this era, a good job and he could help where he could with science and Willow had done so well in this era. He wasn't keen on the idea of going back to his cramped apartment and slaving over menial tasks and going back to being distant. Would their relationship even survive in their own time?
Anastasia was still surprised that they could be so open with their relationship now. The last time they had ventured to the theatre she had been so embarrassed over kissing Jobe's cheek. Now, they could be open.
"I love you too." She said to him and smiled a little. Everything just seemed so perfect. They had two beautiful children who had good health, they were both healthy and had the company of good friends.
The theatre was just as magical as she remembered it had been a whole year ago. And Jobe hadn't changed either. Marriage hadn't changed who they were and the children had changed them for the better. She loved Jobe more than she had to begin with, especially when she saw him holding their son or daughter in his arms. It was like instinct. And she was so glad they had managed to get some time together thanks to Willow and Justin offering to look after the children.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] [b “I don’t disagree with you on that one. They are both so gorgeous, I can hardly stand it.”] She said with a smile, looking at both of the children before settling her gaze on Justin. She nodded, happy that winter was over too. It meant that the school room wouldn’t be so cold. She could hardly believe how close the twins were to all of that and she was rather excited by the prospect of chasing them around the house and the garden to keep them out of mischief. She giggled to herself as she watched Juliet fall asleep and Justin settled her. [b “I don’t think that it a bad thing. You have the touch, you said that when we first met them and it’s still true now. I, on the other hand, seem to inspire energy.”] She smiled as he kissed her forehead and watched him lowed himself into a seat and then started to walk around with Fletcher in her arms, bouncing him gently.
[b “Me? I am fine. Just trying to figure out where to go with the school room now. Most of his staff can read and write now and are educated enough and I am just wondering whether it’s worth extended my services to their children, so they have better chances growing up.”] Fletcher was finally starting to settle down and she sighed with relief. He wasn’t crying but he needed attention and he was so tiring when he was like this. [b “But if you mean how am I emotionally. I’m good. I promise.”] She said with a smiled and she meant it…for the first time in a long while she was doing well.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe laughed and squeeze her hand affectionately. [b “You are always in good company with me my dear.”] He said with a smile. He was just as nervous as the children, but he didn’t want to show it, knowing that they both needed this evening. The fact that Anastasia wanted to raise their children without help meant that they were both tired. Having Justin and Willow to help them certainly helped on occasion.
Jobe enjoyed the idea of taking the twins outside and couldn’t wait to see them enjoying the outdoors. [b “They’ll be running around out there before you know it.”] He said as they two made their way towards their seats. [b “I love you too.”] He said, leaning over to press a kiss on her lips. [b “More and more with each passing day.”]
Justin looked to Willow and smiled at her remark,
“Well, Juliet is going to be a heartbreaker. Her father is going to have to chase the boys off with a stick!” He nodded.
“Hm? Oh the usual. Nothing new. Everyone seems in relatively good health.” He commented.
“I think everyone is glad winter is over.” He added with a small laugh.
“And you and your brother will be toddling around soon which is great because it will be good weather.” He smiled but Juliet was falling asleep and he raised an eyebrow,
“I have that effect on women.” He joked as he settled her and looked to Willow.
“And how have you been doing?” He did still worry for her, of course. She had been through a lot and he just hoped that spring and the nicer weather helped her to move on. He kissed her forehead gently before sitting down.
Anastasia stepped out the carriage.
“Well if I’m beautiful then I’m in good company.” She said to Jobe with a giggle as she held his hand. She knew he was right but it did go against every instinct in her body to leave her children when they were so young but she was glad he understood. And they did need a break. Anastasia had refused to allow a nanny to help, wanting to do it all herself so that she didn’t miss a moment. But she also needed to remember she had Jobe and he was just as important as the children, after all.
Anastasia walked into the theatre with him,
“I’m glad winter is over, you know? We can take the twins in the gardens now without worrying about the cold.” She smiled and looked to him, seeing him out and about, dressed up and with a peculiar vibe about him due to being a father now, the father of her children, it was as if Anastasia loved him even more somehow.
“I love you, Jobe.” She said quietly as they took their seats.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow looked up when she heard Justin’s voice and she couldn’t help but laugh. [b “But look at him. He is!”] She said with a smile as she looked back down at the boy bouncing happily on her knee. They really were growing quickly, and Fletcher was becoming more and more expressive and vocal with each passing day. Willow looked up at their friends walked in the room. [b “You both look wonderful.”] She said with a smile and looked towards Anastasia as Justin reassured her that the twins would be fine. [b “You both deserve a good night out.”] She watched as they said their goodbyes and they left the house, leaving the twins in their capable hands.
Willow wanted nothing more than to feel his kiss upon her lips in the moment but having the twins to look out for mean there were more important matters to take care of. Juliet stirred in her cot and Willow laughed at Justin as he reached for her. [b “And you’re calling other women pretty? Am I not good enough for you anymore?”] She laughed as she used his words against him and rose from her seat so that she could move around a little more with Fletcher who was getting restless sat in one spot. [b “How was everything at the factory today?”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] [b “And to we both deserve a night to dress up and indulge ourselves. I know you will worry, it’s only natural but Justin and Willow are so good with the children. I can think of no one better to look after them while we enjoy the theatre.”] As if to prove his point the two of them were greeted with the sight of Willow and Justin together with them. [b “Enjoy your evening.”] He said towards them after kissing both of his children. He led Anastasia out to the carriage and settled comfortably next to her, keeping hold of her hand.
[b “You look beautiful.”] He said, placing a kiss on her temple. [b “You always do but you also look relaxed tonight. You know it’s perfectly fine for parents to want or need a break, right?”] He said as they neared the theatre. Once they arrived they he helped Anastasia out of the carriage and he smiled. They had a pretty heavy winter and they were only just starting to lose the cold weather with the arrival of spring. [b “It’s a lovely evening.”]
Justin came out from the study and smiled to Willow and Fletcher.
“Oh you’re calling other men handsome already?” He chuckled and smiled to Fletcher. The twins were both growing so quickly! He didn’t mind watching the twins for a night so Jobe and Anastasia could have some time together, although he could tell Anastasia was going worry and he hoped she didn’t because Willow was great with the kids!
Justin looked over as Jobe and Anastasia came down and he smiled.
“There’s mother and father, both looking rather good!” He cooed to Fletcher and laughed a little. He looked to Anastasia before she could start worrying,
“Don’t worry. They’ll be completely fine!” He assured and watched them say goodbye sighing quietly as they headed off. Justin looked back to Willow and honestly, he missed her a lot. She seemed to shrink from his touch lately, like she was frightened and it made him feel awful. He knew she had been through so much with the miscarriage and he didn’t want to push her but sometimes he did just want to hold her close at night and feel her soft skin under his fingers. He kissed Willow’s cheek softly and looked to Fletcher and then to Juliet, laughing a little.
“Hey there, pretty lady!” He said as he picked her up and smiled.
Anastasia has to admit it felt nice to get dressed up again. She fixed her hair and smiled to Jobe, feeling his arms around her. She kissed his cheek softly and looked him over,
“It’s been a long while since we dressed up!” She said happily as she took his hand and headed downstairs, seeing Willow and Justin with the children. She let go of Jobe’s hand and said goodbye to Fletcher and Juliet,
“Send for us, if anything happens.” She said to them and was ushered off by Justin. She knew Justin and Willow were perfectly capable and wouldn’t let any misfortune happen to the twins.
Anastasia got into the carriage and smiled to Jobe.
“As much as I hate leaving our children, it is nice to be with you again.” She sighed softly as she realised they had a night of no crying infants, no bottles, and honestly, even if it was for a few hours she was relieved. She settled at Jobe’s side as they rode into town. She had missed Jobe because in all honesty it had been tough being a mother and she was always tired and her appearance was always lacking due to never having the time but she had had a bath that night and dressed herself up and she felt back to her usual self.
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