Six Months Later
Martha was prodigiously proud of herself. She had been nauseous ever since opening the shop that morning, but she had managed to throw up only once. Rose, Mickey, and Martha had gone ten rounds arguing about whether or not Martha should continue to open the shop. Martha had insisted that they were both being completely ridiculous, and that she was perfectly capable of keeping her normal routine, despite being four months gone. Rose tried going all "Jackie Tyler" on her, and Mickey had used every guilt card he had, but nothing had worked. In the end though, they had begrudgingly reached a compromise—Martha could continue to open, but she would only work a half-day. Though she would never admit to it, Martha was starting to be grateful to have her hours cut back. The further along she got in her pregnancy, the easier it became for her to tire out. The fact that she was now limited to decaf was not helping anything either.
Rose came in around 10:30 AM, bringing with her ginger ale, saltines, and a box of Kleenex. Martha appreciated the first two and glared at Rose over the third. So what if she had randomly cried once or twice…or seven times yesterday? Rose gave a genuine smile, kissed her forehead, and on seeing the display case was low on pastries, went to the kitchen to begin baking. Business remained slow but steady, allowing Martha to have some necessary periods of rest. During one such time, she was sitting down behind the counter nibbling on a saltine, when John walked in with two white paper bags. Her overly sensitive sense of smell could immediately tell that he had brought chips. She could practically feel the grease coat her stomach, just by smelling them. She immediately dropped the saltine and put her hand to her mouth.
I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will… (belch) …not get sick!
John saw her attempt to control her stomach and went quickly went up to her, putting the two bags on the counter in front of her.
"You ok? You need something? Bucket? Cold rag?" he began asking rapidly.
"Get those things away from me!" she begged, pointing to the offending bags of food.
John looked at down at them briefly before quickly grabbing the bags and tossing them on a nearby table.
"Barely," Martha groaned as she put her head in her hand. Slowly, her stomach settled, but the faint lingering smell of chips still gave her a quiver of nausea. She looked up at John and immediately could see something was slightly…off.
Martha raised an eyebrow and said, "What's wrong?"
John returned her expression. "Nothing. Why?"
"Because you're all…," she trailed off as she wiggled and waved her hand at him, "all…weird vibey."
"Vibey?" he sniggered.
"Shut up! I'm still trying not to toss my stomach. But seriously, something's goin' on…I can just tell," she said as her gaze zeroed in on him.
John fidgeted as she stared. "It's probably just those pesky pregnancy hormones," he said casually, flashing her a toothy grin.
"No…pregnancy hormones are the reason I have the overwhelmin; desire to slap that grin off your face. Despite that, I can still tell there's definitely somethin' up."
John grabbed the bags again, partly hoping that the smell would keep her at bay. "Rose in the back?"
"Yeah…go. Take those things and go," Martha said as she quickly put her hand to her mouth again, the scent again assaulting her stomach.
John quickly made his escape to the kitchen. When he walked in, he saw Rose at the middle prep table whisking what looked like chocolate batter. At hearing his entrance, she looked up and smiled. He smiled in return and walked over to her, giving her a sound kiss while she struggled to not drop the mixing bowl. When they finally parted, Rose looked up at him, her eyes sparkling.
"What was that for?" she asked, slightly breathless.
"Coz it's Wednesday," he said giving her a brilliant grin.
She giggled and gave him that tongue in teeth smile, causing John to give her yet another thorough snog. Ever since she found out the effect it had on him and the perks it brought, Rose had made sure to use it very regularly.
"Brought you something," he said, holding up the two bags.
Rose let out an excited squeal and quickly put down the bowl, grabbing one of the bags from him. She hopped up on the prep table and John joined her.
"What are you making?" he asked, swiping a smidgen of batter onto his finger and promptly tasting.
"Oi!" Rose scolded, smacking at his hand. "Keep outta that! It's Death by Chocolate brownie batter. Donna requested it the other day."
"Mmmm," he said, taking another small swipe of batter. "What happened to those Chunky Monkey muffins you were supposed to make me?" he asked, slightly disappointed.
Rose took a quick bite of her chip before answering. "I've been banned from baking with bananas. The smell of 'em makes Martha start retchin'."
John's jaw dropped at the very idea. "She's gonna be the death of me," he huffed dramatically and began pouting.
She laughed and patted his hand patronizingly. "Oh, my poor baby." Rose started looking through the bag. "I see the vinegar but where's the ketchup?"
John fiddled with his coat pocket nervously and pulled out a bottle of ketchup. Her eyebrows rose up questioningly.
"Y'keep ketchup in your coat?"
"Of course not. I…I realized I forgot to get some and stopped to pick some up," he said nervously.
She moved to take it from him before stopping midway. "S'not gonna blow up on me, is it?" she said grinning, but slightly serious.
John let out a dramatic sigh. "Rose, that was ages ago! Quit beating a dead horse."
She rolled her eyes, but grinned as she took the bottle from him. As she did so, she heard what sounded like a clunk from within the bottle. She shook it. Definitely a clunking sound. Her eyes widened.
Ketchup's not s'posed to clang…
Martha slowly made her way from the restroom. The count was now up to two and a half—the half due to the fact she was able to push it back down.
Whoever the bloody idiot was that decided to call it "morning sickness" should be shot!
As she made it to the counter, Donna came running, literally running, into the shop and up to Martha.
Martha's eyes widened at the sight. "Why on earth are you runnin' in here?"
Donna stopped a minute to catch her breath. "You didn't answer your mobile. I have news. It's big! It's beyond big! It's amazing, brilliant, monumental, ast—"
"You're starting to sound like John. Get to the point," Martha cut her off.
"He bought a ring!"
"What?!" Martha squealed, all traces of nausea instantly gone. "How do you know that?!"
"Jack told me. John swore him to secrecy," Donna said, her face completely taken over with a smile.
"If it's s'posed to be a secret, how did you find out?"
"I have my ways…," Donna trailed off with a sly smirk, wiping at her bottom lip absentmindedly.
"So, when's h-..."
The question died on Martha's lips as a horrible crashing sound came from the kitchen. Martha and Donna ran towards the sound and threw open the door. The prep table was at an awkward angle and chocolate batter was splattered all over the floor. John and Rose were sprawled on the floor. Rose had ahold of his lapels and was snogging John for all he was worth, while he attempted to soothe the bump to his head and still keep up with her.
Martha and Donna both started laughing. Martha looked at Donna, unable to hide her excitement.
"Pretty sure that's a yes."
AN: I went ahead and started posting the first follow-up story. It's When Push Comes to Shove. Fair warning-it's angsty/whump-y. No relationship issues with John and Rose. No worries on that account. Thanks for EVERYTHING! ∞ Ash