PLEASE SEE INDEX PAGE FOR DISCLAIMERS & OTHER CHAPTERS
Chapter Notes: Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt "Soulmates".
Chapter 19 :: Wife Appreciation Day
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter
++ Monica ++
Excerpt from the personal journal of Monica Reyes
This is not what I was expecting to happen today. I was planning on giving Dana a whole day of pampering after my one commitment this morning. But it hasn't worked out that way at all. Not that I should be surprised, I suppose. That nightmare last night was just the start of it. I don't even remember what it was about anymore, but it ruined my sleep for the rest of the night. Which, of course, meant that I was tossing and turning all night long. So Dana didn't sleep any better in the end than I did.
It's just been a series of clusterfucks ever since then for the two of us, but two stick out most clearly. My teleconference with FLOTUS got cancelled and rescheduled, which should have been a bonus for my day with Dana, except for the fact that she got called in to work, mandatory overtime. There was some sort of pile up out on the I-15 and they were calling in every possible person to help out in the aftermath. Kerry even got called into the hospital to help in the ER.
They've both been gone for the last fourteen hours now, and I have no idea when I'm going to see Dana next. She did call earlier to say that it would still be a while, and to tell William good night before he went to bed. Dinner is in the refrigerator, waiting to be made when she gets home, though it will most likely end up being made tomorrow. I seriously doubt Dana's going to want to do anything besides shower and sleep whenever she ends up getting home.
I just wish there was something I could do to make this all go away for her.
Closing my journal with a sigh, I pinch the bridge of my nose and glance over at the clock. Ten thirty-seven. I really hope someone's going to give her a ride home. We can go get the car in the morning. Heading into the kitchen, I start to reach for the wine bottle, but stop myself. If she needs me to go get her, I need to be able to drive. Wait a minute, who's going to watch William if I have to leave? As I try to remember who might still be up at this point, there's a knock at the door. Opening it, I find Zo standing there, a sleeping Tamia in her arms.
And then I remember that Karen had driven Dana and Kerry in this morning, rather than having extra cars, so she'll have to call to get home. Or take a cab, but I seriously doubt she'll do that. She might even catnap and wait for the grave shift to be done and come home in the morning. But I don't want her to come home in the morning. I want her to come home now.
"Hey, Mon, can you watch Tamia for me for like an hour or so? Kerry just called and said she's ready to come home."
I quickly take the sleeping three-year-old from her, trying to squelch down the disappointment that Kerry can come home, but Dana can't. "Yeah, no problem, I'll just let her curl up on the couch here with me until you get back." I really hope I don't sound as pathetically depressed to Zo as I do to myself.
"You're a dork, Monica," she says with a tired grin. "I'm bringing Dana home, too. Ecklie wouldn't let her work more than sixteen hours today, and she's actually getting pretty close to that. It's the same as Kerry at the hospital."
"But she didn't call me…"
"Kerry mentioned it when she called me. Apparently, Doc Robbins called her when he came in and saw that Dana was still working. Dana'd said that they came in with Karen this morning, so he called Kerry's cell to see if she was still working or not, because Ecklie was about to come down and send all of the relief people home for some required rest."
And, as if on cue, my cell starts buzzing in my back pocket, Dana's ringtone muted by the denim and my sweatshirt. "Dana, baby, how you doing?"
Zo leans in to brush her lips against Tamia's forehead and waves at me, mouthing that she'll be back soon.
"Tell me the truth, Mon," Dana slurs tiredly. "I've died and gone to hell, haven't I?"
"No," I reply with a sympathetic chuckle. "But I'm betting you wish that's the case, hmm?"
"I don't think so."
The click and turn of the doorknob even sounds exhausted as Dana walks into the apartment. Zo is standing in the doorway, Kerry leaning heavily against her side. Wrapping an arm around Dana's shoulders to bring her closer, I nod at Zo. "Take your wife home and come back for Tamia. It's not a problem. Just come on in and get her."
"Thanks, Mon," she replies and heads off toward their bungalow.
Closing the door, I turn to press my lips to Dana's temple. "You hungry?" Dana shrugs and mumbles some sort of answer, which basically boils down to yes. "Okay, dinner's actually almost ready, so how about you go take a quick shower and the food will be ready when you get done."
Dana smiles tiredly and leans up to kiss my chin. "You're too good for me sometimes, Monica."
"Never good enough," I reply honestly and give her a light push toward the bedroom.
She wanders off into the bedroom, and I can just make out the sounds of her undressing and starting the shower before the oven timer starts to chime. The lamb roast looks absolutely perfect, and the vegetables appear to have cooked to the consistency we both love. Scooping them out, I get to work on thickening up the gravy just a little bit more so it's the way Dana loves it. There's a quick knock at the front door before Zo steps into the room and goes to scoop up her daughter.
"Damn, Mon, that smells good!"
"I'd invite you to join us, but I don't think Kerry would appreciate me co-opting you from her tonight."
Zo chuckles and shifts Tamia on her hip. "You got that right. Thanks again for watching the pickle here. See you guys in the morning sometime."
As she leaves, I turn the off the burner to let the gravy cool and thicken just that last little bit. Plates and silverware come out, followed by an extra wine glass for Dana. The bowls of salad come out of the refrigerator along with the wine bottle. In no time, I have the table set with our food and drinks, and am just lighting the candles as Dana steps out of the bedroom in her Thomas pajamas and a sweatshirt.
"Feel better, baby?" I ask, moving to take her in my arms again. Up close, I can see that she doesn't look nearly as ashen as she had when she stumbled into the apartment.
"The shower was almost orgasmic," she replies and takes a deep breath. "And I think the food may finish me off in short order."
"Well, don't let me stop you." Guiding her to the table, I push in her chair for her before going to sit across from her. I watch her silently as she studies the food in front of her. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that's drool leaking from the corner of her mouth. "Dig in, babe. I made this for you."
Silence dominates the room as we eat our meal. Yes, it's far later than we normally would be having dinner, and Dana would be the first person to admit that this entire day has been anything but normal. She begins to perk up a little more as she practically inhales her dinner, even getting up for a second helping. She also dips into the wine a couple of times, but I'm not about to even consider stopping her, not after the day she's had.
Finally pushing away from the table, Dana groans softly and scrubs at her face. "I am so glad this day is over."
"I bet," I reply and start to clear the table. When Dana stands up, I rest a hand on her shoulder. "Just relax, babe. I've got this taken care of."
"But nothing, Dana. You had a long, rough day, and I can take care of cleaning up the kitchen."
She purses her lips, but says nothing further. It takes just a few minutes for me to get the leftovers put away and the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Glancing over at Dana, I can see she's still in the same position; I wouldn't be surprised if she's fallen asleep in her chair. Moving closer, I can see that she's still awake, but only barely.
"Come on, baby, let's get you to bed."
"Hmm?" she asks, blinking up at me. "Sorry, Mon, I'm just so exhausted, and two glasses of wine with dinner was probably a stupid idea."
Shaking my head, I help her stand up and head into the bedroom. As she settles on the bed, I finish turning off the lights in the living room. Without hesitation, I go to kneel next to her and reach for one of her feet to start a gentle massage that works its way up her entire calf. Dana's moan of ecstasy makes me want to chuckle, but I settle for a knowing smile and continue with the massage. Once I know that leg is knot-free, I repeat the process on her other leg.
"Mmm," Dana murmurs, falling back onto the bed. "You're going to put me to sleep, Mon."
"That's my plan, yes."
"But all of your plans for today?"
"Baby, they can wait until you're rested and feeling better. Until then, just let me pamper you like you deserve."
And I mean every word of it.