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Ainsley knew that there was a lot of courage involved in what she was planning on discussing with Shadow and she had to be wary of this. It wasn't like they were established, wasn't like they had been together for so long that it would be mad otherwise. They'd been together for fourteen months and while that was nothing to frown at, it certainly wasn't the keys to that house at the end of the drive; the end of a path.

But Ainsley was about to turn thirty-six years old in a matter of days and she wanted things that might escape her if she didn't start trying for them. Of course, that meant discussion with Shadow. They had said March.

And now it was March.

She was folding some of the laundry in Shadow's hut, arranging things in the proper places that she had deemed for them. She hadn't made many changes; just enough to make herself feel at home. And she was waiting. Waiting and biding her courage forward, hoping she would have enough to say the words she wanted to speak.

Date: 2009-02-23 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
It was amazing how on a tropical island with ostensibly nothing to do Shadow still got pretty damn busy. Between shuffling Karen off to classes, working on the building crew, and just the day-to-day minutiae of life, he could come home worn out. A nice little domestic routine.

He came in fresh from the shower to find Ainsley in there. She'd been here more, lately. Shadow found he didn't mind it at all.

"Hi," he said with a smile and dropped a kiss against her mouth.

Date: 2009-02-23 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley leaned up against the kiss, her feet gravitating to the tips of her toes as she leaned in and stole a much longer kiss from him, smiling and trying to rid herself of her anxiety or her nerves, but none of it was going away.

"I was hoping you'd get here, soon. I nearly headed back for the Compound." But not home. It hadn't been home in a long while.

Date: 2009-02-23 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
The kiss took him by pleasant surprise. He let a hand settle against her waist that lingered there even after she pulled away.

"Sorry, I showered up there to save a bit of time." Karen was still there spending some time doing homework with Rollie before dinnertime, which meant that Shadow and ShorHor had had some bonding time during the long walk home.

He caught her expression though. Keyed-up for something. "What's up?"

Date: 2009-02-23 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
"Well, it's March," she said, and thought that by saying that alone, she was giving him fair warning as to the conversation that was about to come. "And in a couple of days, I'm going to be older and we shelved this conversation until now. But now, it's now. And well, here I am."

Date: 2009-02-23 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
I took a second for him to work out what she was getting at. Stupid, but when she mentioned her birthday, he thought someone had mentioned her birthday dinner to her. He'd already mentioned it to a few people.

Maybe Shadow wasn't always the brightest crayon in the box but give him time and he'll get it. The baby. No. The potential of possible future babies.

And it wasn't like it was a surprise, but it was, a little bit. Still, he nodded.

"Right. Yeah. Um- okay. Yeah." Off to a great start, wasn't he.

He met her eyes for a moment then nodded again. "Yeah. Let's do that."

Date: 2009-02-23 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley exhaled, trying to get her strength up so she could present her argument without sounding like an absolute idiot. "We should sit, right?" she suggested, not sure how this was supposed to go. "I mean, this kind of serious thing, we should lock the door and sit down and take it very seriously."

Date: 2009-02-23 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
He nodded slightly and didn't know what to do with himself. Never did when it came to these big talks. But he reached his hand out to brush over her fingers and nodded. "Yeah, let's sit down." Shadow offered her a small smile. This was them. Once they got to talking, they'd be fine. "If we're going to lock the door let me check on the dog and tiny horse outside first."

Date: 2009-02-24 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
"I just want to be sure that no little girls come wandering in at the wrong moment," Ainsley pointed out, feeling slightly concerned that they would be interrupted by Karen and then things that should be said wouldn't be and she would forever be trying to get her courage up, once more. "But yes, by all means, you should check on the dog and the tiny horse before we begin this."

Date: 2009-02-24 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
"She's up at the Compound with Rollie," he told her, though that had been 15 minutes ago. With a gap like that, Karen could be anywhere by now.

He stuck his head out to check on Garm and ShorHor The dog was lounging in the sunshine while ShorHor munched suspiciously on a bit of bush. Business as usual.

Shadow closed the door quietly then sat down at the table. He kept his eyes on her. "Alright."

Date: 2009-02-24 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley had been focusing on taking her deep and calming breaths, not wanting to get herself too panicked before she even said a word. "Let me be first clear," she noted, trying to keep her syntax from drifting into the depths of the iambic pentameter. "That I do not want you to think that I am pressuring you into marriage. Or a life with me. However, I would like it known that if I were to have a baby, I would very much, in the course of events, like it to be yours."

Date: 2009-02-24 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
His heart was racing as she said it, even if he was expecting it, even if she had all but said it before. Because it's one thing to feel like one day Ainsley wouldn't mind having his baby, to even think it, but to hear her really say it it something else.

It was a big thing to think about, massive, but this right here, yeah. That was just- yeah. The idea of it made Shadow's pulse go faster even if it didn't show on his face.

He nodded slightly to let her get it all out and said. "Okay."

Date: 2009-02-25 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
"Okay," she echoed and took a deep breath, arranging herself in her chair. She had perfect posture and she had eye contact. Both things were very important, she told herself. "First, I've asked Rollie to give me a checkup and everything came up normal, so if we do decide to try at this, there shouldn't be anything standing in our way. I would raise the baby until you were comfortable with the situation, of course. If you didn't want to do it immediately."

Date: 2009-02-25 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
He took this all in with a nod. She kept giving him outs, if he wanted them. Making it clear she wasn't pressuring him at all and letting him work out what he wanted.

He had to figure out what that was then. Whether he was ready, could be ready, for that sort of step.

"You want this," Shadow said after a moment, and it wasn't a question. "Is this- you want to start trying now? I know you wanted to talk about it again in March, but this is-" He smiled slightly and rubbed a hand over his mouth. "This is now and not just a general future."

Date: 2009-02-25 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
"I don't exactly have the rest of my life to sit around thinking of the obscure possibility," Ainsley pointed out, her voice small and slightly anxious considering how much careful thought she had put into all of this. "I'm running out of time. I'll be thirty-six soon and that means I'd be thirty-seven at best. By the time the baby is eighteen, I'll have passed my goal retirement age."

Date: 2009-02-25 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
"Ainsley," he said in a low, warm voice as he put his hand out on the table for hers. Steady despite nerves. They just had to keep talking about what mattered and they'd come through. "Ainsley. You don't have to justify yourself to me. You don't. I just want to know what you want and when you want it."

Date: 2009-02-25 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
"I just don't want you to feel as though somehow I've corralled you into a split decision that you'll come to regret," Ainsley babbled, all her nerves flying out as she clasped his hand tightly and just went on a fast ramble. "I don't want this to be something you hate, but do because you love me."

Date: 2009-02-25 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
"That's not what I'm afraid of," he assured her and held tight to her hand. "Ainsley, I-" Funny how they weren't doing anything monumental, just talking, but his pulse was racing and there was something like nerves in his belly.

He tried again.

"I love you. That's not going away. And if I- if you found a baby in a basket tomorrow, I'd be there with you. Every step of the way. Not because you pressured me or dragged me- because I want to. Not just for you. For me. For the little person in the basket."

Date: 2009-02-25 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Those were amongst the sweetest words that Ainsley had ever heard in her life and something in her face reflected that. "Does this mean that you would be willing to make a stab of an attempt at a serious, real-life with me? Not that what we're doing isn't real, but we're still a family missing one piece, in my mind."

Date: 2009-02-25 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
Shadow nodded slightly and squeezed her fingers. He was smiling at her, just a little bit, but there was warmth there.

There were uncertainties and worries, still. Questions that should be asked and answered for the both of them. But it was...yeah.

She was asking him, and right then everything in him knew the answer.

"Yeah. I would be. I want to."

Date: 2009-02-25 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley had a rushed feeling of adrenaline spiking through her and it made her wonder if they were actually speaking aloud about what they were. "Shadow," she said, feeling dazed and winded and pleased and delighted at once. "Did we just agree to try and raise a family?"

Date: 2009-02-25 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
"Yeah." He grinned at her. "Yeah, I think we just did."

Date: 2009-02-25 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley let loose a bark of a relieved laugh and her eyes brightened fully. "So does this mean that you and I should just start trying? Or do we have to make some kind of vow, or...what do we do?"

Date: 2009-02-26 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
Laughing quietly, he leaned across the table to catch her face between his hands and kiss her. Start with this and maybe if she wanted to make up a vow later, they could do that too.

But this first.

Date: 2009-02-26 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] playingtheenemy.livejournal.com
Ainsley leaned right into the kiss, the warmth on her lips enticing her more than she thought possible and she swore there was a spark of something else entirely. That just because they had made this decision, new doors to their relationship were opening.

By the time she parted, she was slightly breathless. "Should Karen know? Should we tell Rollie? Or anyone?"

Date: 2009-02-26 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palmthemoon.livejournal.com
He pulled away enough to let her talk, but smoothed his thumb over her cheek softly. "I don't know," Shadow said, and he was still smiling. "Sure. I guess so. Or not. I don't know. Both?"

It wasn't a real answer to the question, but Shadow was feeling agreeable.

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