Long-Distance Call
By: Manna


…-…-…

The sound of his cell phone ringing jolted him from a peaceful nights' sleep. More like a peaceful days' sleep, he thought as he glanced at the blurry red 3:00pm that stared at him from the nightstand. For a moment, he worried that he was late for work—very late—but then he remembered that he didn't work because it was the weekend, and he never worked weekends.

He let out a sigh of relief. And then remembered his phone.

He fumbled for the loud machine with one hand and squinted at the tiny name that flashed on the screen. Jill. He had to answer it.

Well, technically he didn't have to, but it would be in his best interest if he did. Having her upset at him wasn't worth it. He closed his eyes and pressed the accept button. "Hello, Jill."

"Haar!" she said, her voice sounding quite awake. The background noise was loud. "How are you doing?"

"Fine," he answered. "You?"

"Great! I'm at the airport."

"So the noise I'm hearing isn't a riot at that big meeting?"

She laughed, "The meeting ended early, actually. And without the throwing of office equipment this time." There was a shuffling, and a quiet "Excuse me" before she spoke again. "I'm on my way home. My plane leaves in twenty minutes."

"So I assume you want me to pick you up from the airport." He forced himself to sit up, and rubbed the sleep from his good eye with his free hand.

Her voice turned serious. "You know I hate taxis."

"I know, I know. When do you need picked up?" He looked down toward the foot of his bed to see one of their pet iguanas sleeping there. "Hyperion got out of his tank again," he thought to tell her.

"I told you we needed to invest in a better tank. Or at least a better lid!" Static came over the line. "And be at the airport before five o'clock. I don't want to wait around for very long. It's Saturday and I intend to enjoy the weekend."

He smiled. If the way she'd said that was any indication, he'd probably be enjoying the weekend, too. "I'll see what I can do."

He heard the sound of something falling and then Jill's irritated sigh as she bent to retrieve it. She always carried too much junk with her. And it wasn't even typical female junk.

"I don't know why I go to these meetings, anyway," she grumbled under her breath. "I hate airports."

"Because it's part of your job."

"Right, there's that."

He thought she would end the call, then, as she was clearly close to boarding her plane and already had her hands full with her luggage. And she was in the middle of the Begnion airport—he personally hated the place because it was always so crowded.

But she had more to say. "Did you clean up while I was gone?"

Haar paused. "Sort of," he said, looking around their apartment. The floor was covered in his dirty work clothes, and in the living room he could see empty coffee cups and old newspapers and dishes.

Three days' worth the stuff. Inwardly, he cringed. She would be less than pleased with him to see it. Oh well.

"Liar," she teased. "You didn't clean anything. You probably didn't even pick up your dirty clothes."

"I did a little cleaning," he defended, thinking of the heel from the loaf of bread that he'd thought to toss in the trash. He hated bread heels almost as much as Jill hated taxis.

"If by that you mean you remembered to throw away one thing…"

He leaned back against the headboard and looked over at the empty side of his bed before he let his forearm rest across his knee. "Don't worry," he assured her, letting his eyes close. "It will be clean by the time you get back."

"I'll pretend I believe you." He could almost sense her smile from where he sat. "But how's this? If it is clean—which I doubt it will be—then I'll make dinner all weekend."

It was technically his turn to cook, and cleaning up would help ensure he would get to enjoy his weekend. Haar thought it was fair. Jill's cooking was ten times better than anything he could do, anyway. He looked around him again. Yeah, he could clean the mess up before he had to leave for Nevassa to pick her up. "Sounds good," he said. "I want fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy and—"

"Slow down!" she laughed. "You actually have to win, first. So I'd better go so I can catch my plane and you can get started on cleaning things up."

"All right. Have a safe flight." He stifled a yawn and swung his legs over the edge of his bed. "Love you," he added, his voice softening a little.

He could picture the trademark reddening of her cheeks. It always happened without fail, even after more than a year of marriage.

"I love you, too," she said, her voice sounding happy, and after a moment, he heard the click that signified she had hung up.

He stared down at the phone for a moment before finally setting it on the nightstand again.

After a long stretch, Haar sighed. "Back in the tank, Hyperion," he said, and lifted the sleepy lizard up before settling it back where it belonged. He put the lid back in place and set one of his heavy automotive catalogues on the top. He doubted it would last long, but it would do for the moment.

He looked around again before he started to do a half-decent job at making the bed—well, half of the bed; since Jill hadn't been home for a few days, only his side needed fixing. "Ah, hell," he muttered after he had finished, bending over to scoop up his dirty work clothes. "This is going to take longer than I thought."

His and Jill's iguanas stared at him through the glass walls of their home. "I know it's a lot of work to get done in half an hour," he said to them as if they could understand, "but I really want that fried chicken."


…-…-…

Author Notes:

Did Haar get the apartment cleaned in time? (The world may never know.) This was written for JoopaWoopa on Livejournal, who drew the cutest AU Haar/Jill picture for me. (The picture is posted to the Doodle_Emblem community there!)

Also, the iguana's name is Hyperion because Joopa said so. (I realize it's Heath's wyvern's name in FE7.)