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[SANDY] ... my darlin', you hurt me real bad.
Worried - Blankface
freshoffthefarm
"At least we have something interesting to put in the baby book," Annie said as she looked out over the dark skies and pounding rain. The parking lot outside the window was a virtual swimming pool, and though she'd tried to keep the tension out of her voice, she had a feeling she hadn't done a very good job.

Thankfully, she'd put the Corvette in an above-ground garage, but her Golf was somewhere down there, swimming around in the mess. The tension she was feeling was as high as it would have been in any other crazy situation, but the fact that this one was just outside her window didn't make her feel very good. Turning back to Auggie, she took a breath. "How're you doing over there?"

The power had gone out three hours earlier, and though it didn't put him at a disadvantage, she'd stocked up on candles and a flashlight for herself. They'd met at his apartment just because he could move better in it, but that meant her car was a goner and hurricane insurance wasn't part of the package.

It also meant that the ultrasound they'd been scheduled for had been re-scheduled.

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Auggie sighed and wrapped his arms around her from behind, pulling her close. Gentle hands rested against her belly as he held her, a shiver running through him. He was scared. He couldn't help it. He was a man who would always love and worry. It was in his nature.

"If it's scary, why are you looking out the window." He smiled and kissed her behind her ear. He didn't know who he was trying to reassure. "I know, but I can't help it. You shouldn't let it get to you. We'll be fine. Joan said as much." And still, she'd also said they couldn't leave the city. Just in case.

He frowned. "I hear a lot of things. Not just the wind. I can hear other things. There's a metal clanging sound, not sure what that is from. And a scraping noise." His voice was low, quiet.

"Because it's also fascinating." The fear obvious in him seeped through into her and Annie took a deep breath. Holding it for a moment, she hugged his arms close and then patted it before she murmured, "We will."

It was interesting to her, the things he said he heard. She could hear it, too, if she focused and paid attention. Once he'd mentioned it, she knew what to listen for and what to pay attention to. She could identify the sounds by sight and she sighed as she said, "Cars. They're sliding alongside the poles in the road. And the signs are what are clanging. It's the wind."

She hugged him close again, both to reassure him and comfort herself.

"Now you're starting to sound like me." He smiled and inched closer to the window. It was stupid, really. It wasn't like the closer he got, the more he'd see. And he didn't need the proximity to enhance his hearing. Still, he wanted to be closer. Reaching out, he lifted a hand and placed it against the glass. "The wind is really whipping out there," he murmured.

He could see why she would find it interesting. That didn't mean he did. "Why don't we go distract ourselves instead. Some wine. Some music." He shivered, something he was sure she would feel. "I promise, I'll buy you a new car."

"You can have the wine," Annie murmured, turning her head just a little to let her lips brush against his jaw. "And I think one car as a gift in any relationship is enough, don't you?"

Her tone was teasing, but really, she was overwhelmed at his need to make her feel better about the situation going on outside, especially since she knew it bothered him that they were in the middle of it all and he couldn't do anything to protect them any more than what he already was. "I'll settle for cuddling on the couch next to you while you indulge, deal?"

He smiled and nodded his head. Slowly, he pulled her over to his sofa. "You can indulge. Did you know that they make non-alcoholic options for people who cannot indulge?" He smirked at her. "There is some in the fridge. Non alcoholic beer and white wine. And I could make you a mocktail too, if that's better. You could at least pretend to indulge."

He shook his head, giving her a look. "But you love that car. And I doubt after today it will be able to be driven. If it hasn't driven itself into a tree already."

"I gave up the non-alcoholic beer before I turned twenty-one," she told him with a laugh, "but maybe I'll try the wine later. I'll get you something worth drinking, though and join you on the sofa in a second."

Giving him a quick kiss, she made herself useful in the kitchen with a bottle of apple juice that she'd picked up at the store when she'd stocked up for the storm and a glass of wine for him.

When she went back out, she slid onto the couch next to him, then pressed his glass into his hands. "Here. Enjoy it for me."

Auggie listened as she padded to the kitchen. Well, he'd tried. It was the least he could do. He didn't want her to feel like she was left out of something. Some of his best memories was going down to the bar and sharing a beer with her. He didn't want a child to change that. He knew it would, which was why he had bought the other stuff. As she returned, he put on a smile for her and took the glass. "Thank you," he murmured.

His head tilted to the side and he leaned forward to give her a kiss. "I don't even know where to begin. A movie. Some music..." No matter what they put on, the wind outside wouldn't be deterred. Shivering slightly, Auggie took a sip of his drink and sighed. He hated that he couldn't do anything. He could fight. He could protect. He couldn't fight or protect against nature.

"Power's out."

She said it quietly, her hand slipping into his as she curled up next to him. A moment later, she pulled the blanket on the back of the couch down on top of them, over their laps, and slipped under his arm. "It's eerie, isn't it? I mean, the noises outside, but it's so quiet in here."

It was awkward, she knew, because of his propensity to want to keep everyone safe. The truth was, she felt safer just because they were together.

Reaching out, Auggie set his glass down on the coffee table and pulled her close. Cuddling with her under the blanket, his eyes closed and he listened to the sounds around them. It was very scary, hearing the noises and feeling power of the winds. The building would be secure up to a certain wind speed, but nothing was unmovable.

He sighed. "I guess that means I'll have to sing. God help us both." He laughed, but it was a little awkward. "It is really quiet in here. I haven't been this quiet in a long time," he whispered. "At least we have the three of us together."

"No," she laughed, her mood lightening a little. "No singing. I'd rather the hurricane take us away."

She squeezed him with a solid hug as she said it so that he'd know he was teasing, but his next statement made her sober up again. "It is the three of us together, isn't it? It'll always be the three of us, Auggie. I hope you know that."

Leaning up, she gave him another kiss.

"Fine, fine. I don't sing that badly. I'm not Joan or Arthur." He chuckled and kissed her, one hand reaching up to thread gently into her hair. He smiled, letting his tongue swipe gently across her bottom lip. It felt good to be here like this, distracting.

"Three of us," he growled into the kiss. "Yes, three of us. Always. I would die for both of you. You have to know that."

He pulled back, staring into her eyes. Or, where he thought her eyes should have been. "Marry me, Annie. Let me make an honest woman out of you."

"I know that," she assured him, kissing him again.

When he pulled back, she frowned a little, lost in the intensity in his gaze. His words caught her off-guard and she smiled softly before shaking her head just a little. "Oh, Auggie. Now you're letting your fear get the better of you. The storm, the baby... I'm already yours, you don't have to worry about that. I'm not going anywhere, you don't have to think that I'd trap you into this."

He frowned, suddenly feeling terrible about what he said. And, more importantly, how he had said it. "Hey," he said softly. "I'm not... I don't feel trapped. I don't feel that way at all, Annie. I love you. You're carrying my child. I want... I want to marry you. I want to know that you'll be here with me, always." Reaching out, he took her hand in his and threaded their fingers together.

"I'm sorry. If I'm moving too fast, I shouldn't have said anything, but... I'm not letting fear affect me. I mean what I'm saying. It's not the storm that's making me..." He sighed. "I want to be with you. Always."

Annie squeezed their hands and shook her head.

"No, Auggie. No. That's not... that's not what I meant." She took a breath, realizing that he hadn't meant what she'd thought at all and it had come out all wrong. "I thought maybe you were asking because I was pregnant, not because. Not because you wanted to be with me."

Saying it like that, she realized just how stupid it was. Of course he did. They'd been through so much, how could she have thought any different? "It's not too fast, not at all."

"I am doing this all wrong." Okay, so maybe she was right on one thing. It was the fear and the storm that was making him feel worried and upset, but he never felt trapped. For him, his mind was going down a different path. He wanted to be with her because he loved her. And he wanted to protect her. He couldn't do that if he wasn't her husband.

Raising an arm, he motioned to the world going on outside the windows. "What if something happened, Annie? You're carrying my child. I love you. If you're my wife, legally bound, then you're entitled to my benefits from being a soldier. To... To a lot of things. You and our child, our child, would be safer and protected. I would feel... better. And? I want to spend my life with you."

Listening to him make the justifications the way he did, she understood. To her, it wasn't about the money, but for him, it was about making sure his new family was taken care of in case something went wrong. She couldn't begrudge him that and she couldn't even dream of denying him that.

"I know," she told him, taking his arm and hugging it close. "And I want to spend my life with you. Not just because of the baby, either, but because I love you. I've loved you since... since you walked up to me and picked out my perfume. Does that make me silly?"

"I..." He bit his lip, shaking his head. "It doesn't make you silly at all. With... With Parker, I bought a ring, but I... I didn't want to buy one for you. It was like I had to have you with me if I picked it out. You're so picky about your shoes, no way was I picking out a ring for you. When this is over, when, not if, we're going shopping."

He smiled and looked in her direction, leaning forward to kiss her temple. "Mr. Auggie Walker, right," he teased.

"Is that how you want to do it? Auggie Walker?"

She had a feeling he was just teasing, but if he was thinking hyphenates, she figured she'd better ask now. "It just sounds so manly."

"You wouldn't want to take my name. You would want to keep yours, wouldn't you?" He smiled. And he was teasing, mostly. She was a strong and independent woman. He wouldn't force her to take his name if she didn't want to. Or maybe still be Annie Walker at work.

Lifting her hand, he kissed her knuckles. "We don't have to think about it now. Annie Anderson, how does that sound?"

"When I'm your wife, I'll take your name," she told him as he kissed her knuckles, the motion sending a warmth through her that made her heart pound. For a moment, she forgot all about the storm raging outside. "I'd like to be Annie Anderson."

Lifting his hand to her mouth, she returned the kiss, just as gently.

"Good." Auggie smiled and shifted, pulling her close. One hand lifted and he brushed her cheek with his knuckles. Leaning forward, he kissed her, losing himself in how good she felt in his arms. With her like this, it was easy to forget that the storm was just outside, threatening them. "Annie," he purred softly into the kiss.

With the blanket over them, he felt like a teenager. Like he was young again. She inspired that in him. She brought out his impulsive side.

"You know, I'm not sure what the etiquette is when it comes to making out when the apocalypse is nigh," she murmured, moving her lips from his hand to his mouth. "Though, if you wanted to move this to the bedroom, I wouldn't object."

A few kisses later, she amended that statement, considering how comfortable she was under the blanket with him. "Actually, we don't even need to move. I'm comfortable where we are."

Auggie nodded his head. He'd move wherever she wanted to, but he kind of liked it where they were. He smiled and kissed her fingertips, sucking lightly on them. "It's nice here. It's been ages since I made a blanket fort," he teased.

Leaning forward, he gently kissed her neck, nuzzling it. "Maybe you and I could really ride out this storm," he teased.

"I'm not making a blanket fort," she laughed, though the laughter turned to soft sighs when he started nuzzling her neck. "If you're using the word 'ride' as some sort of naughty euphemism, maybe we really could."

She wasn't discounting the fact that he had an extremely dirty mind when he put his mind to it, nor was she discounting the fact that she'd been feeling an increase in her libido recently because of, well... everything. "Is there something you had in mind, exactly, or are we just seeing where the hurricane takes us?"

"Hey now, never underestimate the power of the blanket fort." He chuckled and tilted his head to the side, gently kissing her cheek. He remembered making the blanket forts as a kid with his brothers. While his words now were mostly in jest, it was nice to tease and make jokes. It helped to alleviate his worries and try not to think about what was going on outside. "Oh, we can ride," he murmured softly into her ear.

"If we're taken anywhere, it won't be because of the hurricane. It will be because of me." He laughed and kissed her, moving one hand to the back of her neck to hold her close. He didn't want to hurt her. Being pregnant, he would have to exhibit more care with his touches. That didn't mean he couldn't touch, though. "What do you have in mind," he purred.

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