Logs:The Best Is Yet To Be
|The Best Is Yet To Be|
Hi pregnant, I'm proposing.
Joy and Noah's Apartment
Evening has fallen outside, though the city of New York is still as busy and bright and loud as ever. Inside is a different story. The apartment probably isn't much to some people, but Noah has done his best to set a romantic mood without being over the top (or extremely obvious.) A few candles, a playlist of country love songs, ordering out from one of the fancier restaurants nearby and plating it like an actual meal. The plates stay in a low oven to keep warm while he tries not to pace a hole in the living room floor. Noah is even dressed up, at least for him--his newest jeans, barely faded, a blue button up that Joy swears fits, even if it feels too tight on his shoulders. Barefoot, because it's either his work boots or fancy boots, neither of which are right.
There's a fine trembling in his hands that he can't stop, a mental image of dropping the ring box and having to fumble after the ring. The awful, baseless fear that she'll say no. He should stop pacing and sit down. Try not to look like he's been waiting on her, when she arrives. There's an attempt to do that, for all of five seconds, before he jitters himself off of the couch and back to his feet. God help him.
Joy has not had a great day, when you come down to it. She agreed to dance an afternoon shift as a favor for Sierra, which she is never doing again, because she barely broke even and had morning sickness besides. But she didn't throw up and she's home now, home to Noah and their wonderful little apartment, and... apparently a romantic evening, God bless him. He's even wearing a button up.
She leans back against the door and beams at him. "Hi, handsome. Boy, are you a sight for sore eyes. Should I change?" She gestures at her t-shirt and elastic-waist shorts, because she might be barely into the second trimester but her pants are already getting tight.
It takes him a moment to find his feet; she always knocks him off 'em. "If y'wanna. I think you look beautiful already," he says, padding over to kiss her hello. He keeps a hand on her waist when he steps back to let her actually move into the apartment. "How was work?"
Joy makes a face, involuntarily. "Not good," she said. "Not bad, just not good. So let's not talk about it." She kicks the door shut behind her and leans up to kiss him, sinking into his warmth, swamped as always by how much she loves him.
She leans back after and considers changing, but nah, her dresses are getting tight too and they're probably going to end the night naked anyway. "I'll skip new clothes, then," she says. "I just feel a little underdressed next to you. What's the occasion?"
The word reminds her and she thinks, maybe, tonight would be a good time to tell him. She has to do it soon, she wants to do it soon, her fears have stayed just fears and she wants to tell him. He'll be happy. Joy's sure he'll be happy. Maybe.
Her question causes a bit of panic to zip through him again. "Felt like spoilin' ya," Noah answers in a quiet rumble, with a small smile he hopes reads as normal. "I ordered somethin' from the Mediterranean place you like." Taking her hand in his, lacing their fingers, he gently tugs her toward the table where a chair is already pulled out. "What you want t'drink?"
"Aw, babe," she says, smiling at him, and follows where he guides her, then sits down. "I love it when you spoil me."
What does she want to drink? Not alcohol- she isn't much of a drinker but ordinarily she'd have a beer after a day like this, or maybe a glass of wine. Not water, because that always tastes like workouts to her, and she wants to relax. "Lemonade," she decides.
"What a coincidence, I love when I get t'spoil you." Noah drops a kiss to the top of Joy's head while he pushes in her chair. Goes to pour two glasses of lemonade--it sounds good, he decides--and retrieves the plates after. Wonders, briefly, where his nerves have gone to. It's only a minute before he has the table set, placing the plates more in the middle of the table than at either seat. Food for the table. One has half a roasted chicken with spinach and olives, the other seared salmon with cauliflower pilaf and parsley-caper sauce, rice with slivered almonds and raisins on both.
Joy squeaks a bit with happiness when she sees the plates. "My favorites!" As soon as he's set them down, she hooks an arm around his neck and pulls him in for another kiss. "You really are spoiling me, love," she said, against his mouth.
Definitely tonight, she decides. She'll definitely tell him tonight. But after dinner; she's starving.
The food is delicious, as it always is from this particular place (For the price, it better be.) Noah does his best to supply to the conversation while they ate, though it's mostly questions about Joy's day and how Inanna's is doing. He prefers to listen to her talk and fears straying into different topics in case he blurts out a completely different question besides. She seems glad to answer those questions, once she's ate some, and talks about other things besides.
Afternoon shifts are the worst. (As someone who works outside, he agrees with a wordless grunt.) One of the dancers has stopped dancing and decided to work the bar, which has seen a boost in sales. Her parents called and want to visit some point soon. She saw the cutest baby on the way home.
He leaves the plates on the table when they're done, stands to instead offer Joy a hand. "Can I have this dance?" he asks, resisting the urge to hide shyly behind his hair.
Joy can't help herself: a huge smile spreads itself across her face. Noah isn't often willing to dance. She knows he feels clumsy next to her, and nothing she's said has convinced him otherwise, but that just makes the moments he will dance even more precious. "You may."
She puts her hand in his and lets him pull her up, lays an arm around his shoulders, and tucks herself close against him. "You can always have this dance."
The song playing is fortuitous--"I Cross My Heart" by George Strait--but pretty fucking hard to compare to when Noah's trying to figure out how to start a proposal. It's much easier to wrap his free arm around Joy's waist, hold her hand in his, move in a slow circle around the living room with his head resting on top of hers. About the only dancing he can do, but he's improved since they moved to New York. He thinks.
His heart feels like it's beating out of his chest with how much he loves her, how much he wants to get this right. "I love you so damn much," he starts, little more than a quiet rumble. He doesn't pull back; if he looks at her, he won't be able to speak. "I know I ain't really been actin' it, but I am glad we moved here. It's good for ya, and I think it'll be good for me too." Now that he's actually going to give it a chance, but they already had that conversation. "Meetin' you was the best thing t'ever happen t'me."
Her face hurts with how much she's smiling, and what he's said-- Joy buries her face in Noah's chest, just for a moment, to recover. What can she say that he doesn't already know? How much she loves him, how happy she is that he's giving this a chance? How amazed she is, every day, that someone like him chose a spoiled city girl?
"I'm pregnant," she blurts.
Or that. She could say that.
Noah almost stumbles over his own feet with how abruptly he stops moving, his brain about shutting down all together. He doesn't blink or breathe, just stands off-balance and stares down at Joy, his face doing God knows what.
He has to propose.
He's going to be a father.
The ring is still in the table beside the couch, he should have gotten it already.
They're gonna have a baby.
He needs to say something.
"Hi pregnant, I'm proposing," are the astonished words that pop out of his own mouth.
Joy pulls sharply back from Noah, utterly dumbfounded. He's... what? He's proposing? Now? Through a dad joke? He's making a dad joke about a pregnancy she's been stressing about for weeks while proposing?
The first giggle sneaks up on her. She claps a hand over her mouth, but the second and third escape anyway. Before she knows it she's laughing so hard she slides down Noah's body and ends up on the floor, almost crying.
Noah covers his face with both hands as soon as she starts to giggle, face heating. Jesus Christ (sorry Jesus.) Weeks of planning and trying to figure this out, and doing pretty damn well if he says so, and he just-- he says that. His shoulders start to shake, Joy's giggling apparently contagious. He's full out laughing by the time he joins he on the floor, holding his stomach and trying to breathe. "M'sorry," he gasps out. Wipes at his face to try and calm himself, though he can't do anything about the smile that spread across his face. His heart may burst. "I wanna try again. Let me redo that, please."
Joy wheezes herself to a tentative stop, but doesn't dare look at Noah's face. She remembers these laughing fits from high school; if she looks at him, it'll start again. Instead she leans into his body and rests her head against his shoulder. "Yes," she says. "I mean, yes, you can redo that, but also yes."
A stray giggle still escaping him every now and then, Noah walks on his knees to get the ringbox from it's (extremely recent) hiding place. It isn't much more than a slim box covered in champagne pink colored velvet, but he's more worried about the ring inside it. Turning back to Joy, he arranges himself to kneel on one knee. Opens the ring box to reveal a rose-gold band, set with eight white opals arranged into a flower, seven tiny diamonds set between each petal. "Joy Maserati, will you marry me?" he asks, confident now that he knows the answer.
"Yes," Joy says again, and she can't stop smiling. Is she ever going to stop smiling? Is she ever going to want to? "Yes, Noah Hunter, I'll marry you. For better or for worse. Except it's going to be better."
How could it be anything but better? She's pregnant, and Noah's happy about it. She holds her hand out so he can put on her (gorgeous!) ring. They're going to get married and live happily ever after, because she won't let anything else happen.