shimmerandsing: (Baby Belly)
Alison Blaire ([personal profile] shimmerandsing) wrote2007-11-02 08:08 pm

Lazy day.

Alison decided to take advantage of the milder day and was out walking around the koi pond. She'd fed them up and leaned lightly on the bridge rail to watch them. It was chilly enough for a coat, but not so icy that she shivered. A good day, she decided.

Sadie lay at her feet and peered over the side of the bridge to watch the fish. Alison had the feeling that the dog would love to grab one of the shiny fish. But, then she probably wouldn't know what to do with it once she had it. It was a good thing Sadie wasn't a cat.

Plum blossoms fell from the trees and onto the water's surface. The fish would swim up to nibble and look sad when they discovered it was not food. Alison kind of felt bad for giggling.

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 12:24 am (UTC)(link)
Like most things she did, the jonin approached Alison silently. And stealthily. As was usual for someone who had been a ninja many more years than she had not. Though she did make sure she stepped on a twig and snapped it before getting too close. It wouldn't do to have her daughter-in-law get startled and fall into the pond. Or accidently kick the puppy into the koi pond.

The jonin smiled pleasantly as she greeted Alison. "Good afternoon."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
Alison blinked at the sound of the twig snapping and looked up. She returned her mother-in-law's smile.

"Good afternoon. It is, too. Very nice out. If you don't mind a little chill." She reached a foot over to rub Sadie's side lightly. "Bet the fur coat helps."

"How are you today?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
"The chill does not bother me. I just have to remember hiding in a snow drift in a swimsuit. Then the chill bothers me." She walked up and stood beside Alison. "A fur coat would have been most helpful at that point."

She glanced down to watch a couple koi get a lazy swim in before they survived the cold weather by going to the bottom of the pond. She took a deep breath of the cool mountain air. "I am well. How are you and he grandbabies doing?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
"Ugh." Alison shivered. "I'm cold just thinking about it. How did you manage to survive snow in a swim suit?"

"We're doing well." She smiled and rubbed the side of her belly lightly. The babies were wiggling around a bit. Not kicking, yet, but it was just a matter of time. She was starting to recognize the little ones' sleep patterns and she figured that they were just getting up from a nap. "I need to get in touch with Beverly and set up another appointment. I think I'm overdue. Although, technically I guess you could say she 'saw me' when she came here."

Alison didn't like to think much about that day, though.

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
"Ninja training and mind-over-matter," she answered matter-of-factly. Ninja needed to have some mystery.

"I think she is not extremely worried. There is a midwife who knows herbal remedies here. She mentioned something about her grandmother doing something similar." The jonin did not know why she was told these things by random strangers, but she did appreciate it. Information gathering was a nice resource.

"Longshot is still distracted," she observed quietly. Not ranging anywhere, but his mind was not always on the task at hand according to Asuka. "I have a way to occupy his time. But I should ask for your permission first."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Ah." Best to let that go, then.

Ack. She hadn't meant to say that the jonin couldn't handle whatever came up. She scrambled to back peddle. "I meant that all the books and things say that I should be seeing my doctor every two weeks or so now and I haven't lately, so..."

Man. She picked the wrong day to stop being careful about what she said to Longshot's adopted mother.

Then she winced and sighed. Another subject she was struggling hard not to think about. Longshot's wanderlust. "I know..." She blinked. "My permission?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
The jonin raised an eyebrow. She had not been offended in the least. "It is fine, Alison. I understand a doctor's place in the birthing process. You should be making an appointment soon. Dr. Crusher has many things she can do that I cannot."

No, that wasn't envy. Though what she wouldn't give to have her hands on some of those tools. But that was another minor matter. She leaned one hip against the railing. It was something she had seen her adoptive son do a time or two. She straightened back up after she decided she was too short to pull of the right amount of casualness.

"One of the things requested when handing over the castle to you was the use of that building there," the jonin nodded toward the small building across the courtyard. "I wish to see if it is fine with you if we housed someone there. He would be training Longshot for a more involved mission."

There were some things being left out, but that was the way it was with ninja.

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh..." Alison's gaze followed to where the jonin was pointing. She hadn't forgotten about the provisos for moving into the castle. She was already diverting money from her fledgling music sales into savings to pay back the renovations.

The phrase 'more involved mission' struck an uneasy chord with her, but she kept it to herself.

"We agreed to it. I wouldn't say no. And I'm sure Longshot will enjoy having something new to do."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
"Because you agreed and wouldn't say no makes you honorable. Though it does not mean you will like it," the jonin observed carefully. "You will not have to do anything special for the man who will be living there. No need to cook or see him. He will be here to train Longshot and nothing else."

Because there would be plenty of ninja about watching to make sure nothing else happened. She paused a minute. "It will be in a form of martial arts. Not one your husband has had any experience with."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
"I am not opposed to the idea of someone staying there," Alison answered truthfully. It was more the implication that bothered her. "I trust that you wouldn't ask to house anyone who would be dangerous to us."

"He enjoys learning new techniques. He's much smarter than he gives himself credit for. I'm sure he'll do well." It made her heartsick to know her husband needed something to distract him from wandering away from her. But, that was how it was.

She managed a smile and a shrug. "I don't mind cooking."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
She nodded a little tightly. Alison's posture did not speak of comfort, but it was probably not from what the jonin was asking of her.

"Simple meals. Nothing elaborate. He will not be able to stomach more than that." She did move a tiny step closer to Alison. "Is there something else wrong?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh? Is he not well?" It was polite curiosity. She didn't really expect an answer. This was one of the situations where the clan kept things close to themselves. The fact that it didn't bother her to be kept in the dark about something that involved her husband was probably a bad sign in and of itself.

She sighed and stared down into the water for a long moment. How to answer that question? She didn't want to be told she was being silly or that it was hormones. She was becoming quite familiar with how hormonal swings felt. This was different.

"Several things," she admitted finally. "But, nothing I know how to fix. Might not be fixable."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
"Not as such," she replied politely. It was not really an answer, but it would be all the jonin would give on the matter. The whole secret belonged to a few individuals. Not even Longshot would be privy to it.

The jonin glanced in the spot Alison was staring but turned her eyes back to her daughter-in-law when she saw nothing meriting a closer inspection.

"Well, I have plenty of time to listen. That sometimes makes the burden easier to bear."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
"Mmm." She nodded. Another subject to drop. She didn't mind terribly. If she wasn't going to be involved with the man, then she didn't need to know much about him.

"It's difficult to explain. What it ultimately comes down to is that I feel like I've handled this pregnancy badly. And disappointed Longshot in the process." She sighed and shrugged without looking up. "It's over dramatic and inaccurate to say, but the only way I can think to describe the feeling is: I don' think he likes me as much when I'm pregnant. I'm moody. I'm insecure. I'm tired. I can't do the fun and exciting things he enjoys. Our love life has even taken a hit."

She smiled wryly. "Which I'm sure you didn't want to hear about at all. Sorry."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
The jonin looked on attentively. Even if she would have rather not heard the very last bit. She was aware of their love life. Moreso from the time they had spent in the camp, but she rather liked not dwelling on the idea.

"Alison, despite all the alien inside your husband, he is still a man. Pregnancy is not something they easily understand. He had gotten comfortable with the way things were, but now, everything will change. I get the feeling whenever he was thrown into a new situation, he did not have much of his past to fall on. So, he could roll easier. Like a ship under the unafraid hands of a captain. Now, he knows very much what he has to lose."

She reached over and lightly placed a hand on Alison's arm. It was a very foreign thing for the jonin to do, but she was talking to her non-Japanese daughter-in-law. "How you handle your pregnancy is how you handle your pregnancy. You have not had this experience before. Mistakes and problems happen, but it will make the two of you stronger. Together."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
She sighed softly and closed her eyes for a second. Then she looked over at the jonin sadly.

"Remember when we first moved in here? And I said that I felt like I was viewed as an obstacle between Longshot and the clan? It feels like, now, the pregnancy is the obstacle. I have no doubts he wants these children. Probably every bit as much as I do. But, the pregnancy is..." She huffed a frustrated, hurt breath as she searched for the right words. "It's in the way. Keeping me from doing the things I could do before. And, in turn, limiting him."

"I love being pregnant. I really, really do. For every nasty moment, there are a hundred more fantastic ones. Feeling my babies kick is the best feeling I've ever had in my life. But, he's not sharing in my same joy."

She angrily brushed a tear away with a hand and shook her head. "Now he's feeling the urge to wander. Again. How I lost him before. And I can't even go with him. I won't risk the babies. I'd die if I lost them."

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 03:27 am (UTC)(link)

Though with more gentleness and circumspect manner in the jonin's hand.

"The change your children make affect you, too. The limits are small, but there. But there are more chances opened up for both of you. A limitless chance when you look in your baby's eyes." The jonin did not particularly succeed in hiding the nostalgia. Though she quickly regained composure and continued on.

"He's not sharing the same joy because he can't. It is more distant for a man, but that doesn't mean he has stopped smiling when talking about you. Or gotten any less animated when talking about what he plans to do with his children once they 'premier.' Though there is a running betting pool in the clan of exactly how much you'll let him do."

She gently grabbed Alison's arm, which was yet another breach of Japanese ettiquette. Though the jonin did not look to much care as she tried to carefully guide Alison to one of the nearby benches. "He is feeling the urge, but is he giving in to it?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-03 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
Hankies are useful. Ninja ones even more so. They appeared where you least expected them.

Alison let her mother-in-law guide her to the bench. She sat down and rubbed her belly lightly with both hands. The babies were kicking in their less than happy way. They didn't like it when she was upset.

"I never really thought of myself as limited by pregnancy. But, then I started to feel like he was disappointed in me for the limits. It hurts. Of everyone in the world -- even my parents -- his opinion has always meant most to me. I never want to disappoint him." To this day she wouldn't go near a Slip 'n Slide.

She didn't comment on the jonin's description of Longshot's smiles. Alison was too near admitting her worst fear already. She was afraid he was growing tired of her. Not falling out of love, precisely. But, there was something missing still for him that she couldn't give him.

"No... he's not giving in yet. But, only because I cried and screamed. And the labor scare." She dropped her face into her hands for a moment. Then raises it enough to speak. "And I feel like the worst kind of wife for all of it. In the end, I told him to wander if he needed to. I can't be the one to hold him down. He deserves his freedom more than anyone."

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[identity profile] 2007-11-04 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
"Super secret ninja plans, hmm? Very sneaky. I'll have to be careful." She chuckled and shook her head. A year ago she might have been serious. But, she was definitely not now. The jonin obviously adored Longshot and her unborn grandchildren.

"Japanese stories will be just fine. The little ones are going to learn both Japanese and English. Since we'll be living here, it would be silly not to." She'd have to talk to Longshot and find out if he wanted them to learn Cadre as well.

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
The jonin nodded placidly. Her grandchildren would have to learn Japanese. If they ended up in the camp at some point, the proper oohing and ahhing was going to be done in Japanese. It would be nice for them to understand what all the grinning women around them were saying.

"Did you need any help getting into the castle?" It was chilly out and the jonin wanted to make sure Alison did not start getting too cold. Even with the jacket. They had been sitting and not moving for a while.

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:08 am (UTC)(link)
Alison had absolutely no doubt that the babies would end up in the camp sooner or later. Probably sooner. In fact, she expected to have to plead not to have them taken out of the castle until their little immune systems developed.

But, after that, she would bet anything Longshot would have them in camp showing them off to anyone who would stop long enough. And some who wouldn't. He was pretty fast, after all.

"Mmm. Probably should go in. It's getting colder. And I fed the fish, so they should be happy." She called to Sadie and wriggled to her feet. "I think I want some hot chocolate. Want to join me?"

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:14 am (UTC)(link)
The jonin pushed to her feet much more easily. "I would like that."

When they were closer to the stairs, she quietly offered an arm to help Alison go up the stairs to the kitchen. Not that she thought her daughter-in-law couldn't do it. It was nice to offer however.

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
Alison was glad for the help. She probably could make it on her own, but she felt less concerned about falling when she had help. Her babies would not appreciate a tumble down the steps.

"Do you like marshmallows? I think I still have some hidden." Otherwise, a certain gorgeous blond and his teenage sidekicks would devour them all.

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
"Mm. I do. But I have never had any with hot cocoa." She lived a sheltered, Japanese life. The hot beverage of choice was usually tea. And putting marshmallows in tea did not sound all that appealing.

[identity profile] 2007-11-04 04:34 am (UTC)(link)
"We can fix that." She grinned. Everyone should have marshmallows in their cocoa at least once. You haven't really had cocoa until you did.

When they reached the kitchen, Alison went to set the teapot on to warm the milk. She reminded it gently that they wanted milk flavored milk. And then went about finding the cocoa and marshmallows.