Logs:Be Wherever You Are
|Be Wherever You Are|
"I love you too. Not a bribe, just a fact."
Joy and Noah's Apartment
<NYC> Joy and Noah's Apartment - Soho The dark wood floors, mix of white plaster and exposed brick walls, and numerous windows give the small, somewhat plain apartment a cozy feeling. There's a closet in the small hallway off of the entrance, for jackets, umbrellas, and whatever else ends up there. After that, the hallway opens up into a half-kitchen, only essential stainless steel appliances and few cabinets pressed into one corner. There's a rolling island pushed against the wall if they need more counter space. A small wooden table, just big enough for two, and a set of matching chairs create the dining room.
A set of french doors opposite the hallway slide into the wall to reveal the master bedroom, most of the space taken up by a queen sized bed covered in a mountain of colorful blankets and down pillows. The space that is left is occupied with a small dresser, a rolling rack of clothes.
To the right of the kitchen, an open archway leads to the living room, sparsely decorated with a couch, coffee table, TV stand, TV. All Goodwill finds. Recently, a plush rug has been added under the table, some throw blankets and pillows appearing on the couch. Some family photos are placed here and there, far more of Joy and her parents than Noah with his, though all contain the same level of cheer. A door to the right of the living room leads to a bathroom that has the luxury of a clawfoot tub. A door to the left leads to a somewhat sound-proofed room that is mostly empty, save for the stereo system and dance pole set up in the middle of it.
Noah had expected for quite a bit before moving up north with Joy. He expected there to be a lot of people, expected the buildings would be tall, expected the nights would be bright. Expected didn't mean he was prepared; prepared for the crush of people, the height of everything, how it's never truly dark. But Lord help him, he never could have expected or been prepared for the noise. Joy bought him a pair of noise-cancelling headphones not long after they moved in, but the odd-fake silence had somehow been even worse. That had led them, over time, to this:
After a shift, he comes home and showers in the dark, focuses on the sound of water and his breathing. Pulls on boxer-briefs or sleep pants, some kind of bottoms once he gets out and dries off enough to not track water across the apartment. Sinks into the pile of blankets on the bed, bury his head in the pillows. And finally, the saving grace of it all, Joy lies on his back, anchors him, covers his ears with her hands. He covers his hands with hers. Listens to her pulse and his, feels her breathe, feels her heartbeat against his back. Comes back to himself.
It's fully night outside by the time Noah pulls his head out of the pillows. "Time 's'it?" he asks, disoriented. Did he fall asleep?
"Eight-thirty," Joy says. She could have lain there longer, as long as he needed, with her shirt unbuttoned and the only thing between them her bra. Being skin-to-skin with him is one of her favorite things in the world. Joy takes her hands off his ears and runs them through his hair instead. "Feeling better?"
His answer is little more than a nod, a rumbling "Mhmm," that turns into something like a purr when Joy's fingernails run over his scalp. Tingling warmth trails behind her touch, down his spine, melting him further into the bed. "Didn't mean t'fall asleep," he says with a still sleep-rough voice. He rubs at his eyes with the back of his hand, stifling a yawn. "We weren't s'pose to do anything, huh?"
She leans up and kisses the back of his head. She loves this man so much sometimes it overwhelms her, an explosion in her heart. "Just this. Do you want dinner? We can order in or something."
Noah bats at the cotton in his mind, trying to put together possible ingredients in the kitchen, weighing the time and effort of cooking against the cost of ordering in. Attempting to, at least. He finally throws up his mental hands. If Joy says they can order something, they can afford it. Rolling his shoulders, a silent request to let him up, he asks, "What about Empanada Mama?"
Joy knows he's talking about the restaurant, but the word 'mama' knocks her off balance. It's been doing that since the test was positive. Thank goodness she has some practice now, in covering. "Sounds good," she says, rolling off his back. "Do you want to order?" She lies flat on her back now, his shirt flapping open over her body, her bra the only other thing she's wearing. Her breasts hurt too much these days for anything else.
"I can, yeah." He stretches his arms over his head once he sits up, arching until his back pops like bubble wrap. There's a soft, almost involuntary groan of relief as he drops his hands into his lap. Noah has to lean over Joy to grab his phone, drops a quick kiss on her lips, another on her forehead before sitting back up. "Love you. Want the same thing as last time?"
"Please," she says. Joy doesn't usually eat something as heavy as a bacon mac 'n' cheese empanada, but she feels like she's starving all the time these days. Eating for two, she thinks, wryly, and sits up. "Oh, can I have a chocolate empanada too? And I love you too. Not a bribe, just a fact."
It's nothing more than a few taps on a screen to put in their order--two bacon mac n' cheese empanadas (Noah is only strong against so much), a Cuban sandwich for him, house-made chips to share, lemonade for both of them. He chuckles, flashes Joy a small grin when he goes to add dessert. "We can get some chocolate sauce and whipped cream," he tells her, eyes roaming.
Joy giggles. "Why, Mr. Hunter, are you... implying something?" She leans back on her arms and lets the shirt fall open over her chest.
Noah blinks at Joy, does his best to look innocent even as his ears burn and his grin curls wider. "Heavens no, ma'am. Just makin' sure the lady gets what she wants." He goes ahead and adds them to the order anyway. On the side, just in case. The price of everything makes him internally wince. It's a tinier wince than it once was, which he'll take as a win. "Well, we got half an hour to forty-five minutes 'til the food gets here. What'll we do 'til then?"
"Gee, I don't know." She shifts her weight onto one hand and reaches up to twine a finger in her hair. Joy winks at him, another giggle bubbling up. "Work up an appetite, I guess."