When Redcloak came downstairs from his morning prayer and mediation, already mapping out the day in his head, Vaarsuvius was on the couch with a bundle of wildflowers in her lap and a quizzical expression on her face.

Redcloak immediately remembered, nodding to himself. "Oh, right. It's May ninth. You shouldn't be awake yet—it's only seven in the morning, and you should be sleeping in."

Vaarsuvius looked up at him, just looking more puzzled than before.

"Why should I trance any longer today than I do any other day? And would you tell me why the children were falling over each other to make me breakfast hours before the twins are usually awake, and why Tiasal walked through the nettles to pick the most aesthetically pleasing flowers for me?"

"Nettles? Seriously? I told her to wear shoes when she's tromping through the forest…"

"I sent Blackwing to make sure she wears the appropriate apparel this time, and I told her to go to Durkon for healing if she didn't see you soon."

Redcloak sighed, then took a glance in the kitchen, smiling fondly at the mountains of slightly charred food. There was no way Vaarsuvius would have been able to eat even half of it, so he just took a burnt piece of toast and started to nibble. "Don't you know what day it is, V?"

"The ninth day of May." Vaarsuvius frowned, standing up and letting the wildflowers tickle her chin. "I suppose that we should put these in a vase if our daughter went through so much trouble to get them. Where do we keep glassware?"

"In the cabinet above the sink." Redcloak opened it and took out a simple vase, filling it with water. "V, it's Mother's Day. We've gone over this. Namely, we've gone over this last year, the year before, the year before that, and so on."

The pregnant elf looked even more perplexed.

"I swear, I wonder if you pay attention to anything that doesn't involve magic sometimes," Redcloak said, rolling his eye but keeping an affectionate smile on his face. "It's a holiday to celebrate mothers and thank them. The humans celebrate it in May, so I guess the kids decided to use the human date." Redcloak kissed his wife's cheek before taking the flowers and arranging them in the vase. "You don't know about this?"

"Red, I pay no attention to holidays. As far as my parents were concerned, every day was a holiday." Vaarsuvius raised an eyebrow, glancing at the food the children had worked so hard to make. Even with her complete disregard for sentimentality, she couldn't help but admit that she was a little touched, even if she hadn't been able to eat much. "Why celebrate it? It seems to be without a point."

"It's not pointless, V." Redcloak, had it not been a holiday, would have been in their study by now pouring over stratagems and diplomacy strategies to use for his people, but with Jirix at the reigns, he felt a little more confident in easing his schedule to spend time with his wife. "They want to show you that they love you."

"I do not need to be shown that."

"But they want to do it anyway." Redcloak wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her neck sweetly. "As do I. Let's do something special tonight."

"Special as in?"

Redcloak smiled, tucking a lock of hair behind Vaarsuvius's ear. "There's no moon tonight, so the stars are going to be out. Nearly everyone else who's married is going to be out in town. Belkar is still wreaking havoc in Cliffport and probably won't be back for a month. It'll be just you and me." He kissed her lips softly. "We haven't had a lot of time to just talk with all the things we have to do."

"I still have the lingerie Haley gave to me."

"…That would be nice too."

Vaarsuvius smiled, arching an eyebrow. "I know you too well, my love."

Redcloak smiled, completely unrepentant, and shrugged. "You start things just as often as I do. You shouldn't be talking."

He released his wife, giving her neck one last nip for good measure. "The kids are trying to make you feel appreciated. Give it a little acknowledgement, then you can hole up in the study like you always do."

"It seems a little odd to make such a fuss over mothers."

Redcloak rolled his eye again, trotting towards the stairs. "Consider it an annual 'thank you' for dealing with childbirth."

"In that case, it should be monthly."

"That's what I thought." Redcloak started up to the second floor, already a little distracted.

"Red?"

"Mmm?" He looked back, noting that his wife suddenly seemed pensive. When Vaarsuvius was pensive, it rarely boded well. "Is there something wrong?"

"I am due in two weeks."

There was a pause.

"…It's going to be safe this time. You have Durkon and I, and Xykon is gone."

Vaarsuvius glanced up at him, crossing her arms. "You are reassuring yourself, Red. I am not concerned over my life. You are."

He was quiet again. "I am."

Redcloak swallowed, averting his eyes, then looked back up at the second floor. "You want to go to the study with me? The kids will know where to go if they want to do anything more for you."

"That seems to be a good idea."

Vaarsuvius stepped up to him, graceful despite her condition, and he grasped her hand a little tighter than usual.

"I love you."

A pale thumb lightly stroked his hand within its grasp.

"I know."

They walked to the study together.


A/N: This is a fluffy bit of nothing I spun out last night, so don't read too much into it or expect too much quality writing. Happy Mother's Day, everyone! :D And if you're confused about the continuity of my stories, here: ht tp: / www .gliffy. com /pub doc/ 2131952/L . png without spaces.