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It's early in the day and Ryan got a small gift for Chris - two books, unwrapped. There are two other gifts nearby, just some thing he picked up for David (3-D puzzle) and Elaine (art supplies).

Feeling a lot calmer about this anniversary than the last. Sunrises no longer freak him out, yay! He's been pondering last year's journey though heaven and hell and everywhere in between and how this relates to his feelings on Tony's death.

Yeah. Placeholder.

Date: 2006-09-21 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Elaine comes up behind him and puts her arms around him, leaning her head against his back.

"Good morning," she says softly.

Date: 2006-09-21 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's an immediate smile at her touch.

"Morning," he says, covering her hands with his for a moment before turning around. When Ryan faces her, he's holding the box of art supplies he bought her.

"For you."

Date: 2006-09-21 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Elaine's smile is delighted, but also a little confused. "Oh, you did not have to do that," she says, though her tone says she's glad he did. There would soon be a little baby to sketch, after all!

She stands on her toes to kiss him. "What is the occasion?"

Date: 2006-09-21 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hands automatically going to her waist, he kisses her back. He gives a small shrug. "No reason. You just seemed to be a little low on art supplies."

Really, like a lot of things he did, it was just to see her smile.

Date: 2006-09-21 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Thank you, Ryan." She reaches up to put her arms around him. "That was very sweet of you. And just in time for me to start drawing pictures of Beth's baby when she arrives," she adds with a laugh.

Date: 2006-09-21 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"When will that be anyway?" Ryan knows he's asked before and he remembers what she said. He just can't quite remember when he asked and how much time has passed since.

It was hard keeping track of time in this place.

Date: 2006-09-21 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh, it should be any day now. Within the next week or two, I'm sure. And...she's asked me to be there." There's a quiet sort of joy in her voice.

It was, in her mind, a great honor to have been asked. "Her friend Hero is going to be there...apparently, she's an...'EMT'." Elaine vaguely remembers what one is from her inadvertent trip to L.A.

"She's an interesting person. I hope you get to meet her before she goes. Though I don't think she believed who I was at first." She laughs a little.

Date: 2006-09-21 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's a happiness in her voice when she speaks and he loves that. "Are you going to be assisting with the birth?"

Ryan wasn't sure if midwifery was one of his wife's skills but he wouldn't be that surprised if it were.

"I think a lot of people are," he adds, remembering how surprised he'd been when he found out who she was.

Date: 2006-09-21 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Just being around, making sure things are ready and helping out where I can. I'd used to do that back home. I'm just rather honored that she asked me."

She blushes a little at his next comment. "Her world is not the friendliest of places, and she's had a hard life. I'm not sure if she even accepts that this place is real yet."

Date: 2006-09-21 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Is she from the same world as Beth?" Because he remembers what Elaine told her about their world and could easily believe it might not be the easiest place to live.

Date: 2006-09-21 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yes. When I showed her how to order from Bar, she ordered quite a lot of food. Things must be really awful there. I can't imagine..." She shakes her head.

A world with no men. Elaine can mostly take care of herself, but she can't imagine a world with no husbands, or brothers, or fathers.

"At least she's going to stay until Beth has her baby. I'm glad of that, even though we have doctors in the least she knows Hero."

Date: 2006-09-21 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Makes sense that she'd want someone she knows," he says with a nod. Thinking about this a little more, he asks, "Have you ever been to a birth?"

Ryan's been to three, of course, and remembers how ...surprising he found them the first time time around.

Date: 2006-09-21 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She nods. "A few times. Mab thought it would be educational for me to go, and I...I liked being there when babies were born, so I asked to help when I could. I felt useful, even if I was just fetching and carrying."

It was unusual, the lady of the house assisting at a servant's birthroom, but the other women needed the help, usually.

Date: 2006-09-21 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Ok." He leans against the counter slightly, still looking at her and arms still around her. "I was going to say, if you hadn't, it can be a little stressful."

Ryan has vague memories of trying not to panic and yet being worried out of his mind during Chris' birth.

Date: 2006-09-21 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She grins, wrinkling her nose at him. "Yes, just a little stressful. I take it that you were with your wife when the children came?"

Elaine still finds the idea of men in the birthing room strange, yet wonderful. It seemed to balance things in Elaine's mind for some reason.

Date: 2006-09-21 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yes. All three." He'd almost missed Caiti's birth, he'd been away at a conference the days prior and she wasn't expected for another week. "It was still a pretty new thing for men to be in the waiting room when Chris was born."

Convention or not, in retrospect, he couldn't imagine being anywhere else at the time.

Date: 2006-09-21 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I like that it seems to be expected, now. At least there seems to be little question as to whether or not Spike will be present."

Though it's going to be a little weird for her. Usually, the birthing room is inhabited by women only.

Date: 2006-09-22 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"How's he doing?" Normally, Ryan would imagine he'd be nervous but "nervous" and "Spike" is something he can't quite imagine.

Date: 2006-09-22 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"He's pretty anxious about Beth. Worried about her. He seems fine, but I know he's worried about being a good father to the baby." Elaine sighs and leans her head against him again.

"I think he will be. He tends to underestimate himself." She turns to look up at him. "That's probably a normal thing for most new fathers, though, I'm sure. What was it like for you?"

Date: 2006-09-22 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yeah. Sort of," he amends after a moment's thought. Underestimating himself hadn't quite been his problem.

"After everything with Sean, I had idea of what to expect but ... it wasn't the same, of course." The only thing that had been similar were the everyday mechanics of raising a child.

Ryan pauses, trying to find the words. "I think, for me, it was just the idea that there was this person who was going to depend on me completely. And look up to me. Hopefully. It was, ah, overwhelming at times."

Date: 2006-09-22 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Elaine nods, thinking about that, and about Spike and Beth and the new baby.

"I can imagine so," she says. "When I was growing up, when a woman had a child, she had a lot of other women around to help her. The fathers...weren't involved very much until the children were older. I am very glad things have changed."

Date: 2006-09-22 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It was still that way when I was a kid," he says with a shrug of his shoulders.

"Well, except nurses and doctors instead of other women."

So, not the same at all.

Date: 2006-09-22 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Elaine smiles up at him. "You seem...very peaceful." It was different than last year at this time.

And then she remembers last year around this time. She can't quite believe it's been a year.

Date: 2006-09-22 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It's different this time around." Something he hadn't been expected. He'd been expecting those feeling of anxiety to return, bracing himself for it, and they never materialized.

"I've just had a lot of time to think about everything that happened this year." And recently, to some extent.

Date: 2006-09-22 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"There has been a lot," Elaine says softly. "So very much has happened. And you've come to some conclusions from all the thinking?"

Elaine is fairly serene, but probably not for exactly the same reasons, after all. And in many ways, Ryan had much more to come to terms with than she ever did.

Date: 2006-09-22 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Maybe not conclusions," he admits. There were still things that he didn't understand, still questions unanswered. "But, I've finally made peace with what happened."

Ryan takes her hand in his. "And I'm not afraid of what's waiting for me on the other side of the door."

Date: 2006-09-22 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This makes her smile. "I'm so glad," she whispers, and brings his hand to her lips to kiss it. She looks up at him and she can see peace in his eyes.

She puts both of her arms around him and hugs him tight. "I love you."

Date: 2006-09-23 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He hugs her back, silently thanking God or whoever was responsible for bringing her into his life. Pulling back long enough to look at her, he pushes some hair back from her face. "I love you too."

Date: 2006-09-23 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She beams up at him, closing her eyes as he touches her hair. "So...what are your plans for the day?" she asks, just terribly happy that he's at peace and that he seems content.

Date: 2006-09-23 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Well, Chris is coming over to visit later. And for dinner," he adds with a slight smile. "Aside from that and making dinner, my day is pretty wide open."

Date: 2006-09-23 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I'll help with dinner," she says. "I think both of us have days that are wide open, then. I can't think of any better way to spend the day than with you."

Date: 2006-09-23 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I appreciate. Chris told me she misses having home-cooked meals."

At which point he reminded her she could try cooking at home but he understood what she was getting at. It was sometimes too much work to cook an entire meal just for yourself. He can't say he ever did better than frozen dinners or ordering out once Vicky died.

"Got any plans on how to spend the day? And do you know how to make an apple pie?"

Date: 2006-09-23 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I know how to make an apple pie...and the preparation for that will take some time, so I think we may have our answer for how to spend the day."

Elaine grins. "We'll need about five pounds of apples."

Date: 2006-09-23 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Between that and the pot roast." Though most of the time there was just letting it simmer.

"That can be done. Do we have the um... pie pans?" Ryan's obviously not much of a baker.

Date: 2006-09-23 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Of course," she says. "From Thanksgiving." Elaine hasn't moved from where she is in his arms.

She should probably do that if they're going to cook, though.

Date: 2006-09-23 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh yeah," Ryan says, a chagrined smile on his face. "How did I forget that?"

Date: 2006-09-23 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I don't know! We cooked for days, it felt like." She grinned again. "But it was fun, having everyone over. And...oh! it's David's first Thanksgiving this year. At least that he can eat, anyway."

Date: 2006-09-23 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yeah, it will be." He was so used to seeing David eating with them that sometimes he forgets it wasn't always that way.

"I'm sure he'll like all the pies and sweets."

Date: 2006-09-23 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Of course. He's definitely a little boy, through and through." Elaine sighs happily. "Will we try having a big Thanksgiving again, or shall we have something smaller?"

Date: 2006-09-23 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I don't know. I was wondering that too."

Ryan's quiet for a moment, weighing the options. "It might be too early to tell. It depends on who's around and what other people have going on. But I wouldn't mind doing it again."

Date: 2006-09-23 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It was fun to prepare, if a lot of work. And I enjoyed having everyone over."

It was rather like the christening of their home, in a way.

Elaine leaned her head on his chest for a few moments.

"Well, if we are going to bake a pie, we should probably get going on the apple-peeling."

Date: 2006-09-23 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"We should probably get the apples, I don't think we have that many here." He rubs circles on her back as he thinks.

"Would we need a specific kind?"

Date: 2006-09-23 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Cortlands work well. Several recipes recommend that type."

While he's doing that, she's not as inclined to move...which could be detrimental to any activity at all.

Not that she's complaining, of course.

Date: 2006-09-24 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I could get those from Bar, I'm sure," he suggests, not moving and still rubbing small circles on her back.

Date: 2006-09-25 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I'm sure," Elaine agrees. And then she grins up at him. "We don't seem very motivated to move, do we?"

Date: 2006-09-25 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Leaning in, close enough that their noses are almost touching, he whispers, "We don't have to start cooking right now, do we?"

Date: 2006-09-25 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"No," she whispers back. "No, we really don't." Elaine lets her eyes close half-way and leans up closer, her lips barely touching his. "We can do whatever you want."

Date: 2006-09-25 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Good," he murmurs, brushing his lips against hers.

"I have a few ideas on how we can spend the morning." He pauses, just to drink in the sight of her, before kissing her again.

They had plenty of time for cooking, later.


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