Monday, September 2, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 196

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 196: Grass

With the exception of the past six months, for the entirety of Tim McGee's adult life, he's been an apartment dweller.

Now, usually this wouldn't be an issue, but with April edging toward May the weather's getting warmer, and he's noticing something: namely he is now in possession of a large amount of grass. A very large amount of grass, and none of the neighbors have knee high grass, so it's probably his job to do something about this before he does.

So, what to do?

There are two ways to handle this. The easy way, namely pick up the phone, make a few calls, and hire someone to deal with it.

But for some reason that's just not hitting him right. He's a homeowner damnit! He might as well mow his own grass at least once.

So he takes the hard way, spending a week researching lawn mowers (between interviews and paperwork. And every day when he gets home from work, the grass is taller.), while Abby gently teases him about nesting, which, well, that's probably true, there's no other reason why he'd suddenly be in a take care-of-grass-or-die-trying mindset.

But the fact that may be true is in no way diminishing his need to manage the grass.

And so, bright and earlyish, because he doesn't want to be the bad neighbor who's mowing at 7:00, he's in their yard, mucking about with the mower, getting ready to embark on his first mowing experience since he was seventeen.

It's not like riding a bicycle. Mostly because it's not a damn bicycle, and the thing he's pushing around right now is about ten light years more advanced than the old push mower his mom had had.

And honestly, this isn't that bad. It's cool and pleasant out, still a little damp from the night. And it's not terrible exercise. Granted, he's not thinking this is ever going to be something he likes, but it's not bad either. Better than shoveling the driveway when it snows.

It takes a lot longer than he expected it to. Until he was pushing the mower back into the garage, he didn't think he had a huge yard.

Walking through the house he smells bacon, and between that delicious smell and the fact that, yeah, he is a bit on the hungry side, he's suddenly wondering what Abby's up to.

He heads into the kitchen. "What are you making?"

"Your favorite."

"Really?" He looks her over from head to toe, she's in a black t-shirt and a pair of loose, drawstring, flannel jammie pants, left over from when he was still heavy, licks his lips, grins, and says, "You're looking way too dressed for my favorite."

She laughs. "BLTs. Ready in about five minutes."

"Oh! Those are good, too. How about ten? Let me hop in the shower."

"That works."

He doesn't need to really scrub or anything, he's just rinsing off the sweat and the little bits of grass that are stuck to his legs. So it's pretty quick. When he gets out he changes into a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, they aren't going anywhere else today, and heads back down.

She's got the door to the porch open, and is dragging out chairs. He glares at her a little when he sees that and takes the chair from her.

She sticks out her tongue back at him. She's six months pregnant, not helpless. But she'll usually humor him on things like this, because she doesn't like seeing him worry, and he does worry when she does anything even remotely exerting.

"Thought it was so nice, we could eat out."

He nods at that, it is really pleasant out, mid seventies, the porch is shady this time of day, and then goes and grabs some of the folding tray tables they got as wedding presents.

Sitting on the porch, pregnant wife by his side, freshly-mowed grass perfuming the air, it hits him, he's really not single anymore.

He wonders idly if Palmer felt this way. If, like him, there was this second where he just finally realized that yeah, he's not in any way shape or form single. He's a suburban dad, with a beautiful pregnant wife, and a house, and a yard, and hell, the minivan is probably on the way.

He smiles at that, Abby looking at him with a question in her eyes, so he explains, and she smiles, too.

Her hand rests on her belly, and she says, "It's real."

And from that day until Kelly came, the McGees had the best kept yard in the neighborhood.


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