Author Topic: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)  (Read 3550 times)

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Offline Judith Eastman

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A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« on: October 18, 2019, 12:39:55 am »
[Eastman-Williams land tract]

"Private Property, No Trespassing"
The silver off-roader passed this sign as it turned left, off the main road and onto a dirt path.
"Welcome to our little fiefdom," Judy announced. She was behind the wheel, with Max on her right, as her minder. His glare reminded her to slow down, if only a little bit.
"You'll notice the little creek running to our right. Its watershed is the property line here. Everything between..."
She moved to take a hand off the wheel, but Max got her first.
"The mountain over to our right, the tall ones up ahead, and the one to the left, are the closest thing to a fence we have between us and the neighbors."
There were taller mountains further up the main road, but it wasn't a contest. These mountains were charming, and they loved them.
"You'll notice coming in on our right the compound next to the industrial replicator. That's a dairy farm we're building. The livestock will graze on the meadows in this southern third or so of our land, and we'll use the milk to make cheese and run a little business. It's the least we owe the boys, since we're spending so much of their inheritance on this place."

The car approached the entrance into the woods that dominated the core area of the tract as Judy waited for their guests to react to the majesty and immenseness of it all.
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2019, 11:20:14 am »
[Eastman-Williams land]

Saya sat next to Kyo in the back seat of the vehicle, his arm resting lightly over her shoulders as they both looked around at the terrain, turning their heads in whatever direction their hosts indicated. Alieth stood with her front feet propped against the side door, lifting herself as much as she could so she could see out the window.

It's quite lovely, Saya said, her hand lightly stroking over her slightly protruding belly. She'd been grateful that she already wore a tunic style uniform. She hadn't had to change it until recently, and then she only had to replicate the same style with a little more room around the hips.

Other than a few strange food cravings, the primary pregnancy symptom she was experiencing was extreme bouts of sneezing on a frequent basis. Kyo tried hard, but couldn't help snickering occasionally, having dubbed her sneezes 'cute'. Otherwise, he was extremely solicitous, almost to the point of driving Saya up the bulkhead on occasion. But he was sweet. And insanely happy. When she'd told him, the grin on his face had been the biggest Saya had ever seen on him. And Saya benefited in back rubs and foot rubs and a prolific amount of music composed especially for her.

Beautiful, Kyo echoed. What made you decide to go into livestock? Since his own parents kept land, he was curious. They'd never wanted to keep animals, though, beyond a couple of pets.

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Domen Kyo: Bajoran; 6'6"
George Hugo: Human; 6'6"
Eviess Aihai Annhw: Romulan-Human Hybrid; 5'

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2019, 01:26:10 pm »
[Eastman-Williams land tract]

"There were a number of thoughts in play," Judy explained. "First of all, we love cheese. On our first date, we actually ate Alpine cheese, imported from Europe. The problem is, Europe is quite far, but the climate and terrain here is a lot like the Alps."
After a pause for breath, Judy continued.
"Once we decided that we want to do this, we found out that this area used to be inhabited by a native species pretty similar to goats, that was hunted to extinction about 50 years ago. As the stewards of this land, we felt it was only right for us to introduce something to fill that ecological niche. Some of the neighbors are already doing it."
The road curved to the right, with a wide dirt trail branching off of it towards the left.
"Since it's going to be a business, hopefully a profitable one, it's also our personal contribution to the endowment we'll be passing down. Instead of just spending and investing the Eastman inheritance, we're adding a small Williams fortune to it."
Max knew to recognize this use of Judy's two surnames. The Eastman denoted her distinguished family, on its generations preceding and following her, while Williams was her and Max. She loved them both, and she especially loved the initials she got from using both.
"If we were physically up to it, we would have done some of our own herding, but because of our age, we're employing people for that," Max stated, though it wasn't too hard to guess. Judy was "delicate", to use his adoring-teasing term, and he wasn't in his physical prime either.
"His age. I've been a zombie for the last 5 months."
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2019, 10:18:40 am »
[Eastman-Williams Land]

You and cheese, Saya said with a small chuckle. I suppose it's not surprising.

I hope that it is a worthwhile endeavor for you. And you are contributing to the local economy with jobs.


She narrowed her eyes slightly as Judy and Max joked about their ages and health. I hope that you are doing well since your heart procedure. I know it cannot have been easy to change so many aspects of your lifestyle. Though they shared most of their news in subspace messages, Saya hadn't probed too deeply about Judy's heart issues, not wishing to cause her distress in talking about the things she'd had to give up. But now that they were face to face, Saya felt more comfortable asking, since she'd be able to judge Judy's feelings and back off if needed.

Saya shifted a little uncomfortably. She hadn't gained much weight, but since her frame was so small, it made a difference. Her hips hurt when she stayed in one position for too long and with the long journey here and now the drive to the property, Saya was ready to get up and move around.

Kyo smiled down at her with slightly raised eyebrows to make sure she was okay. Saya nodded slightly and shifted even closer to his side.

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Domen Kyo: Bajoran; 6'6"
George Hugo: Human; 6'6"
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2019, 11:52:25 am »
[Eastman-Williams land tract]

"I miss coffee. Decaf is just not the same," Judy answered, in a fake cry that soon turned to genuine laughter.
"In all seriousness, I've had so much more energy after the operation. It's like I got back 20 years at least."
"Her first words after she came about were 'you're in trouble,'" Max shared with a smile. "I could hardly keep up with her before, and now..."
"I'm like a blonde corgi that talks back?"
It was on this note that they pulled up to the picturesque cabin that was their vacation home. In this late summer time, they didn't bring the car into the garage, but instead parked outside.
Max stepped out first, pre-empting the pregnant Saya and especially Judy (whose second wind didn't translate to bone density) and began to unload the trunk. This left the self-proclaimed zombie to lead Saya up into the building.

"How has the pregnancy been treating you?" she asked. Having carried twins once, many moons ago, she hadn't had an easy time, though she'd read Bajoran pregnancies were extra-intense.
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2019, 12:03:39 pm »
[Eastman-Williams Land]

Both Kyo and Saya chuckled, easily able to imagine how difficult things had been for Max after Judy's surgery. Since they'd traveled with her right after her hip replacement, they knew exactly how hard it was to keep the woman still.

When the car stopped, Kyo stepped out and helped Saya, who didn't argue about accepting his assistance. He also lifted Alieth to the ground so that the little three-horn wouldn't try to jump from the seat.

He turned to help Max unload the car as Saya followed Judy inside.

I am well enough. The changes in my body are a bit disconcerting, though. Everything is happening so quickly. She shook her head ruefully. The sneezing is really the worst of my symptoms. I'll have bouts that last several minutes, and they prevent me from doing anything at all for the duration. None of the usual treatments are alleviating it either.

But it's so adorable, Kyo teased as he carried in an armload of luggage.

Saya glared at him.

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Domen Kyo: Bajoran; 6'6"
George Hugo: Human; 6'6"
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2019, 02:10:47 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Judy chuckled at the visual that crossed her mind.
"Sounds like you got off easy," she pointed out in a teasing manner. "During the first trimester with my boys, I vomited the most that I have since my undergrad years."

Max trailed the group slightly, for he was an older fellow after all. A fit one, despite the culinary adventures he and his consort embarked on, but 61 years of age nonetheless.

Of course, when Judy opened the door, the group was swarmed by the all-too-familiar barking and pawing of the corgis.

"Well, look at that. Someone is very happy to see you. Two someones, yes."
Judy let the dogs have their moment, and then intervened.
"Bridge! Tunnel! Down!" she shouted, and they obeyed - mostly. Now they just pawed and licked at ankles.

"You can settle into any of the guest rooms, down the hallway, freshen up if you want, and then we can figure out lunch," the veteran host stated.

She hung up her jacket at the closet at the entrance, put her orthopedic shoes away, and entered the center of the space. The sitting room was to the right, decorated with paintings mostly of the local landscape and dominated by a grand piano, while to the left (with no separating wall) sat the kitchen. Also connected to the kitchen, but at a 90-degree angle relative to the sitting room, was the dining room, next to which ran the hallway. It was a spacious but cozy environment, with the kitchen strategically placed as command central.
Compared to this single-story building, not much bigger than the Condo in Manhattan, the home in Maine was downright pharaonic.
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2019, 10:53:11 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Saya released a longsuffering sigh at Judy's teasing. No vomiting, but very strange food cravings, she muttered.

She bent down to greet the corgis and release Alieth, who happily ran to her floofy friends, honking excitedly.

Saya glanced down the indicated hall and headed that way. Kyo paused to leave instrument cases by the grand piano before following after her to the second bedroom. Almost as soon as she'd entered, Saya was overcome by half a dozen delicate, but explosive, sneezes.

Kyo paused in the hall and looked back over his shoulder to raise his eyebrows as if to say, 'See?' Then he grinned and entered the room behind his mate.

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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 12:05:19 am »
[Vacation Home]

Judy cupped both hands over her mouth to hide the rising chuckle.

Max initially followed along to bring the bags all the way to the room's door, but then left and returned to his beloved wife to leave the guests to their business in the spacious second (of four) bedrooms. He took to her side, arm around her waist, and led her off to the kitchen.
While their outfits were nowhere near matching (her monochromatic lavender dress, his plaid button-down and jeans), the aprons the pair put on were perfect matches, reading "don't kiss this cook, he/she's taken" (the pronoun matching the wearer). Judy had bought these on the day Max moved in with her, almost a year ago, and they'd remained the couple's workhorses ever since.

They were both ready when they were at last rejoined.

"We have a fully stocked pantry here, as you might expect, so we can have more or less whatever your hearts desire," Judy stated. "Though I will admit, I'm partial to a repeat of the legendary bourekas experiment."
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 07:42:11 pm »
[Vacation Home]

When they returned to the living area a few minutes later, Saya was barefoot and her braid was slightly mussed, and Kyo had a tiny, happy smile on his face. Saya's sage green dress draped over her frame, accentuating the small swelling of her abdomen and floating around her knees. Light grey leggings continued down and ended at mid-calf.

Saya's face actually broke into a grin at Judy's suggestion, and she answered eagerly, That sounds perfect. I'm starving.

Excellent plan, Kyo said enthusiastically. What can we do to help? He really enjoyed cooking with Judy and was sure that it would be just as enjoyable with her husband added into the mix.

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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 08:54:20 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Judy was visibly pleased at the consensus. Since the last few gatherings she'd had here included such opinionated eaters as Lawrence and Judy's own grandmother, quick agreement was a refreshing change, more akin to couple's nights.
"Well, let's get to work. Saya, can you get hasperat ingredients from the replicator? It's in the garage, down that way. Kyo, the filo dough is in the freezer, should be the..."
Judy paused, mentally counting off shelves.
"Third shelf from the top," Max butted in, coming to her rescue.
"Thank you, dear," Judy answered, before kissing her saner half. "Do you want to do the cheese or the potatoes?"
"Someone has to keep you from cutting yourself on the potato peeler," he teased back.
"One time with an avocado. Okay, two, three times with an avocado, and now I can't be trusted with sharp objects," Judy kvetched. "Kyo, I think we'll need all of the filo dough. There are four of us, fifth one on the way, after all."
When saying that last part, Judy sounded almost absurdly excited, almost as much as she was when talking about Michael before his birth.
She took out kashkaval, ricotta, and feta cheese containers from the fridge, while Max set up to peel a couple of potatoes.
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2019, 10:29:26 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Kyo followed Judy and Max's directions and retrieved the dough from the freezer. A massive grin overtook his expression at Judy's comment. I still can't believe it, he said. I never expected it to happen so quickly.

Saya headed off to the garage, quickly ordering most of the ingredients she needed already prepared. She took a couple of extra minutes to input the brine recipe that she'd found that was closest to her father's. Within a few minutes, Saya returned to the kitchen with a basket full of ingredients.

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Domen Kyo: Bajoran; 6'6"
George Hugo: Human; 6'6"
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2019, 11:38:48 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Judy smiled back.
"It'll come very quickly. And before you know it, you'll be sitting at the kid's high school graduation, or college graduation. You'll be excited for them, and they'll whine about you embarrassing them. It'll come that fast."

For Judy, the memories of the near and far past, spanning a quarter-century of parenting, all fused together. The separation between two babies wearing ridiculous sailor outfits, and two semi-grown men with matching acne problems wearing even more ridiculous caps and gowns, seemed much lesser than the 17 years it really was.

She then looked at the package of kashkaval cheese she was holding. She wasn't seeing it clearly.
"Honey, where did I put my glasses?" she asked Max.
He left the potato he was peeling very efficiently, approached behind Judy's ear, and made a single flicking motion.
"Right there, m'lady."
"As you can see, I've gone completely senile," Judy announced, as she then looked at the label.
"Oh, we have a treat here. Sheep's milk. This is actually one of our neighbors. Right across that mountain over there."
She pointed in the southern direction, at the shortest of the mountains that bounded their little valley.
"Shall we enjoy a sample?"

Max, after having found the glasses, took to sorting out the filo dough. He was distinctly more accurate than Judy had been, not having the problem of shaky hands.
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Offline Ozu Saya

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2019, 07:49:59 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Saya entered the kitchen in time to see Kyo standing with a stricken look on his face, mouth agape. He hadn't even thought beyond the birth yet. College?! Prophets, what were they in for?

Saya gave him a confused look, so Kyo shook himself and shook his head. It's nothing, he said, setting the packages of dough on the counter. Saya stopped next to him and set her own load down, putting one hand on her mate's arm and giving him a searching look. It's really nothing, he said again, bending down to press a kiss to Saya's lips. Judy just made me think further into the future than I'd done yet since we found out about the baby, he whispered before straightening.

She raised a brow at him, but was satisfied enough with his response. She'd done lots of thinking about their child and his or her future. Especially about how much she wanted it to grow up differently than she had.

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George Hugo: Human; 6'6"
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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air (Judy, Saya, et. al.)
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2019, 09:06:57 pm »
[Vacation Home]

Judy almost took some perverse pleasure in the shock she'd worked Kyo into.
"It's really not that bad, Kyo," she said. "Well, sometimes it is that bad. Graduations, because those will always be on the hottest day ever recorded, late nights for basically the entire time, parent-teacher conferences, the talk about the birds and the bees, and diapers. Oh, Lord. Diapers."

Max chuckled at Judy's exaggerated, vague recollections, but she (knowing him quite well) could tell from his eyes that there was a twinkle of regret there, regret that he didn't have the chance to go through the prime years of fatherhood. It was a conversation they'd had before, and they were going to talk about it again. It was a painful conversation for Judy to have, too, because that was the one gift she could not give her beloved. She looked him in the eye, with a sort of graveness.

After a brief, but heavy, pause, they rebounded, as they tended to do.

"Any other takers for a bit of cheese?" Judy asked. "It's not going to be here for junior's graduation."
"I'll have some," Max answered, as Judy took a knife to cut small pieces out of the wheel of the semi-soft cheese.

"Have you thought about what you'll call the child yet, or about how you'll manage the living space? Starship quarters are bigger than the average freighter, but only just."

Max did love children, and he was happy to talk about them all day long. It was just a little more emotionally complex for him when it came specifically to Judy's parenting experience specifically.
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