|Late Night Swim 1/1
||[Aug. 25th, 2008|10:39 pm]
Title: Late Night Swim
Word Count: 1,700
Spoilers: Takes place after A Little Splash (Of Color)
Summary: John and Elizabeth go for a midnight swim and assuage some of Elizabeth's worries.
Author's Note: The previous stories can be found at lantean_manor. Massive, ginormous thanks to joyfulfeather for the fantastic beta, as always! This one is just a short little piece to fill some of the gaps between larger stories.
"You should be asleep."
He dropped down beside her, rubbing his warm palm gently up and down her sleeve. She smiled quickly, looking back out across the lawn and at the rapidly growing play area Ronon was constructing for a child that was only about eleven and a half inches long and currently squirming in her womb. The baby wouldn't be able to use most of the play area for quite a while, but the thought that was going into Ronon's carpentry was enough to bring tears to her eyes. Between that, and the nursery that their friends Tony and Michelle had painted… well, suffice to say she was being well taken care of.
"I needed some air," she explained quietly, making room for her husband in the lounge chair and sighing when his arms closed around her, engulfing her immediately in warmth.
John's lips brushed against her ear. "We have windows in our bedroom, Elizabeth. You didn't need to make a trek outside."
She nodded, resting her cheek on his arm, not really paying attention to what he was saying. "We're going to need to build a fence around the pool. Once the baby starts walking-"
"We will," John assured quietly, and she hoped he was adding the pool to the list of things to be baby-proofed eventually. She knew he thought she'd spent the better part of the last week finding various and sundry parts of the house that could be harmful to the baby once he or she was able to crawl, walk, talk, or drive. But there really were things that needed to be taken care of before they were juggling a child on top of their lives, and half of those things involved stuff around the house. Yesterday it was the wires behind the TV, the day before it was the wine rack on the wall facing the kitchen table. Today it was the pool.
"We should do it soon, just to be sure that-"
He smoothed his hand across hers, tangling their fingers together tightly. "We will. We have plenty of time."
She wanted to argue that they really didn't, but she didn't want to fight with him. Not at two in the morning out in their backyard. She just wanted to be sure that everything would be okay. She felt the baby flutter and drew their joined hands to the spot. He or she had been moving around a lot in the last week or so. It was normal, she knew, even if it had frightened her at first.
John's feet wrapped around hers, and he hummed lightly when she shivered.
"Come back inside. It's cold out here."
She turned her face into his arm, kissing his bare skin gently.
"Go get a blanket. It's nice out here when you're actually wearing something."
Instead he tugged her into his body tighter, using her body heat to supplement his own. The little one squirmed under its father's palm. In response, John smiled into her neck, thumbing just below her navel.
As her belly grew, so did her uncertainties. John seemed to be just the opposite. Gone was the reticence that the announcement of her pregnancy had been met with; in its place was eagerness and assurances that everything would be fine. He was keen to know every little thing she felt, every change, every hiccup. She was certain if he could have found a way to experience exactly what she was feeling he would have.
John held her tighter, squirming again and pressing his cheek against her hair.
"It's gonna be fine. We'll fence the pool, I'll bind the cords, and we'll move the wine rack. Your mom gave us about nine million gates; we can block off the dining room and lock up all the cabinets and drawers with those complicated baby locks. And then for the next five years we'll never be able to get to the paper towels and spare toilet paper."
She snickered, actually amused this time by his sarcasm. He grinned, pressing a kiss to the back of her head. "We're gonna be fine, Elizabeth."
"You're the one that's good with kids, you know. Not me."
He shook his head. "You're great with kids. Even demon spawns like your nephews."
She ignored the crack about her brother's kids. (He was pretty much right about them, anyway.) "What if I'm not patient enough, not empathetic enough? What if she's hungry but doesn't cry? Or if she needs to be changed and I don't know it? Or what if she cries all the time and I have no idea what she wants?"
"You could never not be patient enough, Elizabeth. And all those other things? We figure those out as we go along. Pretty sure that's part of being his parents. Besides the usual hassles about curfews and colleges, and why he can't have a pony or be a race car driver when he grows up."
She smiled slightly, ignoring his assumption about the baby's sex and squeezing his hands. She knew she was right anyway. It was a girl. "When did I say you could be right all the time?"
"Sometime last month, probably when I talked you into that trip to visit your mother."
"I distinctly remember saying that was just that once."
John turned her face, gently kissing her mouth.
"You always say that," he teased, kissing her again. "Just that once turned into a hell of a lot, didn't it?"
Nodding, she touched his cheek. "Go for a swim with me?"
"It's two in the morning."
She shrugged, feeling impulsive. "It's our backyard."
"Remember when I said it was cold? It'll be even colder when we're wet."
She pulled away, leaving the chair and stepping out of her pajama pants. Playfully she draped them across his lap, and held onto the back of the lounger for balance as she hooked a finger in her panties and wiggled them down her hips, dropping those in John's lap as well.
"Come on, John," she sing-songed as her fingers moved to the top button of her pajama shirt, releasing each round piece of plastic and gently parting the fabric. Her husband groaned softly, watching her impromptu striptease with undivided attention. After the last button was undone, she slid her nightshirt down onto her shoulders, turning her back to him and striding toward the pool.
"I'll get towels," he murmured quickly, standing and hurrying into the house.
"Be quick," she called over her shoulder, shedding her top fully and padding over to the water.
At 24 weeks, the changes in her body were starting to become more and more noticeable. Her belly was more than just a gentle swell now, and she found herself having to consciously avoid bumping it against things. It got in the way a little more each day when she was putting on her makeup at the bathroom mirror. Every day she felt a little less like a refined business woman and more like a clumsy, fumbling mommy-to-be. The only time she felt like herself was in the pool, when the water slid around her and cradled her changing body, allowing her to feel just as light and graceful as before.
John's arms snaked around her waist, drawing her back against his chest, startling her. She hadn't even heard him come back outside, let alone clamber into the water.
She shivered when his face connected with the sensitive skin on her neck and his breath came in gentle, hot puffs.
"Wanna race?" he asked quietly, swaying his hips against hers under the water.
"Do some laps?"
She shook her head.
He hummed. "So you dragged me naked into this water because?"
"I wanted to see if you'd follow?" she offered innocently, glancing back at him with a coy grin. "I like just standing here, half floating like this."
Nodding, John tugged her closer. "Ten minutes, and then I'm dragging you back to bed."
"Okay," she agreed, relaxing in his arms and enjoying the contrasting sensations of the water, cool and pliable in front of her, and him, solid and warm behind her. So different, and yet so soothing.
They both had the day off tomorrow. She was going in for another sonogram and both her husband and her doctor were encouraging her to start getting into a habit of resting more often than she did, so she would be home all day. John's boss was a three-time father who remembered all too well what it was like to have the first, so Steven Caldwell was more than willing to give him the day off whenever he requested it.
"You're sure we can't find out tomorrow?"
He whined softly, as he had before every sonogram since Carson announced that the baby was in a good position to show them the sex.
"But we could finish up the nursery if we do. We don't want Tony and Michelle's hard work to go unfinished, do we?"
"What happened to having plenty of time?" she teased. "I thought you were the one that didn't want to know?"
"I don't. But I do. Gotta buy that football jersey in the right color."
"Buy it in the team's color," she suggested dryly.
"We agreed. It can drive you, me, and our mothers crazy, but we'll find out the day the baby's born."
She shrugged. "I told you not to bet on your own child's gender."
He laughed, squeezing her gently. "Can we go inside now? I'm so cold this one might end up being an only child."
Rolling her eyes, she nodded, letting him release her and scramble out of the water, grabbing the top towel and wrapping it tightly around his waist. His teeth chattered as he beckoned for her to make her slightly more cautious exit and get swathed in rich, thick terrycloth. Once they were both sufficiently dry, he gathered their clothes in one hand and kept the other arm around her as he took her back to bed.
There was still a lot to do, but she felt just a little better now.