He laughed again. "Maybe I'll keep it for a while." Noticing her shiver, he nodded in reply and sat up to get some hot water running. He turned back to her after checking the temperature of the fresh water, snatching up her shampoo from the tub's edge. "Here; you might need this." He said it with only light teasing in his tone, an amused smirk on his face.
As the warm water flowing into the tub began to raise the temperature she sighed, humming happily. Her attention caught when he held up her shampoo and dangled it in front of her.
"Oh, picking on a defenseless pregnant woman are we? And your wife no less." She smirked, trying to reach for the bottle in his hand. "Guess you'll just have to wash my hair for me then babe."
Kissing her cheek, he chuckled again. "My apologies." He scooted back to lean against the other end of the tub, flipping the bottle's cap open, still smiling. "Sounds good to me—after all, it's only fair." Reaching out, he toyed with a lock of her hair for a moment before letting it fall. "Your hair's so beautiful…" He laughed once again, louder this time. "I'm a little jealous."
She pulled him in for a kiss immediately after, shifting to lean up against him. His skin was always so nice, and she couldn't deny she loved feeling his skin against hers — no matter how much or how little that may be.
"N-not really… my hair isn't that nice." She laughed nervously, face turning a light shade of scarlet. A hand idly rubbed a small section of his thigh, trying to push down her blush.
He leaned down into the kiss, one hand still clutching the shampoo bottle as the other swept over the skin of her midriff. Pulling back, he raised an eyebrow and huffed out a light laugh, poking the end of her nose. "Oh, hush you." He laughed again. "I know what I'm talking about. Your hair is beautiful, just like the rest of you."
He worked a palmful of shampoo through her hair, making sure not to miss one spot. Moving his hands back up to her scalp, he started up a gentle massage with his fingertips. After a few minutes, he reached forward to rinse off his hands, leaving a gentle kiss on her shoulder as he did so.
His hands knew exactly how to make her feel better. Soft caresses and careful attention to detail; it was as if he was pouring his love out through each simple touch, but she was left groaning happily as the digits worked on her scalp. With her body beginning to relax, she finally let her full weight rest against him.
"Mm… you're too good to me, love." She mumbled, letting her eyes fall closed once they became heavy.
Hugging her from behind, he pressed another gentle kiss to her neck and rested his chin on her shoulder, a small smile on his face when he saw the contentment in her expression.
"I don't think I'm "too good" at all. I'm not really trying to be extra nice or whatever—I just love you. You deserve to be treated like this." Barnaby kissed her cheek before pulling away and dipping Tomoe's head carefully under the water, leaving her face above the surface as he got to work on her scalp again, gently washing the shampoo from her hair. Once it was clean, he leaned down and pressed a lingering kiss to her lips, the smile never leaving his face.
Tomoe gave a small purr while he traced his lips over her neck. How did he know what things to say at the right times? He must've practiced so much; at least this is what she'd come to believe after all the times he'd insisted upon being horrid at social situations.
Her hand came to rest against his cheek, smiling just as much into the kiss as he was, enjoying the softness of his lips. A small frown formed when the contact was broken, she enjoyed his affection so much; but things had to be moved along. He worked the conditioner into her hair next, waiting a few minutes before rinsing that out as well with the same loving treatment.
She was glad he was there to help her out of the tub, glad he wrapped the large, soft towel around her body and dried every inch of her off in between kisses and tender words.
Tomoe slipped into a pair of pajama pants and a loose shirt. Now came the tricky part — setting into that one fine line of comfort for sleeping. She stared the bed down menacingly, gazing at all the pillows for her use. She crawled in, adjusting the pillows by her head first, before grabbing another to rest between her knees. Next she pulled the blankets over her and began shifting around uncomfortably, groaning out complaints as she attempted to find that comforting spot while Barnaby stood by and watched with an amused smirk.
All in all, it took her almost fifteen minutes to get comfortable; sighing in tired defeat.
He knew he really shouldn't be amused by this, but he couldn't help it. Tomoe's frustrated huffs and pouts as she tried to find that perfect comfortable position were adorable. Once she finally settled in with a heavy sigh, he slipped in beside her, hand brushing soothingly over her upper arm.
"You know, we still haven't gotten anywhere with boys' names. Did you have any ideas?" He didn't really expect a very long or in-depth discussion at the moment; the sound of her voice just helped him to fall asleep and, through some sort of complicated psychological explanation, usually kept his nightmares at bay.
She took a minute to think but to also will her eyes to stay open. Her smaller hand rested over his while she thought, finally remembering a few that had stood out for her.
"Well, I liked Greyson, Asher, umm… Fynn and Abel." She listed them off from memory, pausing in between names to get her brain working. "Did you think of anything?" She turned her head as far as she could to see him, although it was useless — her contacts were out and her glasses weren't on, so like him, all she saw was a blur.
He turned over the names in his mind, repeating them silently to see how they flowed with his surname. Looking down at her when she asked for his input—his vision blurry and worsened by the low lighting—he turned his mind to the names he'd tried to come up with on his own.
"Hmm…well, someone suggested Xavier to me earlier today… Other than that…" He sighed, tone plainly apologetic. "I couldn't come up with anything." Leaning in, he kissed the side of her neck softly. "We'll brainstorm some more tomorrow. It's getting late." Reaching over for the small remote on the bedside table, he turned off the overhead light before settling in beside her with another sigh, one arm draped protectively over her.
"Xavier?" It was her turn to mull over a name, letting it settle with the others. "I like it," She concluded, grasping his hand tight and bringing it to her lips to kiss. "But that sounds like a good plan. Whenever you're ready after you're done work, we can look for some ideas." Tomoe suggested, sighing softly as his hand came to rub her belly affectionately and protectively after she'd let it loose.
"Goodnight, love. You'll be up before me, so I love you and have a good day tomorrow,"
This time, it was Barnaby doing most of the rushing around, Tomoe merely sitting in the living room chair per the blonde's insistence. She was at 21 weeks now, and Barnaby was being incurably protective. He was going to bed exhausted pretty much every night now, but he considered it worth it as long as Tomoe wasn't overexerting herself. So far, the few bouts of random cravings she'd had were easy to deal with, and somehow they hadn't had any major arguments.
He finally got everything taken care of around the apartment and they went down to the parking lot. Barnaby escorted her to the car, carefully helping her into the passenger seat before getting in and starting the engine. As he drove, he found his gaze drawn to his wife. Pregnancy had been kind to her, and there was a subtle but indescribable glow to her skin; it made him smile almost subconsciously.
21 weeks — Tomoe was more or less over the half way point now and looked like she was full term for one baby. Her ankles were extremely sore and swollen, she tired easily too. As per usual, the moment he buckled her seat belt she fell asleep, only waking when he pet her hair gently and called out her name.
As they walked towards the building, a paper blew by, Tomoe trapping it under her foot, and managing to bend down to pick it up. After a moment of reading her blood went cold and her heart felt like it had stopped. The headliner:
"The Rookie Hero's Married and Expecting?"
Below that was a picture of her and him, walking up to the same building that they were now, hand in hand. She subconsciously placed a hand over her stomach protectively, showing him the paper. There goes their cover.
He paused as she picked up the tabloid, a chill cutting through his veins as he saw the headline and the picture. His mind raced, trying to think of who could have given this information to the papers and who could put a stop to it. When he spoke, his tone was low and dangerously quiet.
"I'm going to track down every last one of them and I will make sure they never want to violate my family's privacy ever again." Taking the tabloid from Tomoe, he crushed it in one hand before leading her inside with a level of care incongruent to his black mood. When they were called in for their appointment, Barnaby waited until they got to the examination room before dialing Agnes Joubert's number, starting before she could get a word in.
"Listen carefully. You are going to call off every single reporter that's tailing me; you got that? Every last one, or so help me I will end their careers before you can say "ratings". Understand? You're going to tell them to stop tailing me, and you're going to forbid them from going anywhere near my family." The other end was silent for a few moments before Agnes assured him that she would do as he asked and hung up. Closing his phone, Barnaby let out a heavy sigh as he sat beside Tomoe, grasping her hand and glancing at her apologetically. "I'm sorry about this, Tomoe…but I promise, I won't let them even think about bothering you or our kids." Leaning forward, he kissed her temple before resting his head on her shoulder as they waited for Dr. Conaway to come in.
She knew he'd be angry about it, heck she'd be boiling on the inside too if she wasn't so terrifiedof what could happen to them. Was it a blessing that she'd picked up the tabloid? She didn't know and she didn't want to think about it as Barnaby rushed her in as fast as she could go.
Her stomach turned from inside the room as she could hear him hissing down his phone about the tabloid and any future ones. Or maybe the twins knew how angry their father was and were trying to calm him in some way. Who knows. She offered him a smile when he came back, nuzzling against his lips that pressed gently on her temple, grasping his hand. "I know… I know you will baby."
Like a broken record the examination began when Dr. Conaway entered the room; the man oblivious to the previous air's tension. He had her stand on the scales, which of course the woman wasn't pleased about, but it was routine.
"Hmm… 148 pounds, good good, you're properly gaining." He muttered, Tomoe flushing bright red as the number was uttered in front of her husband so carelessly. "I expect you to gain another 30 or so pounds give or take to be in a healthy range for the twins." She flushed further, wanting to bury herself in a hole at the moment.
He next took out a tape measure, having her lift her shirt as he wrapped it around her tummy. "22 centimeters in diameter, normal there as well. Tell me have you had anything that worries you?"
Tomoe said the first thing that popped into her mind, frowning. "Yeah my gums are bleeding, I feel like I'll die if I'm in the sun too long and I don't think I know what sleep is anymore." Obviously frustrated, she returned to sitting down on the bed; her frustrations only growing further when he informed her these things were very normal.
She just wanted to go home.
He tried his best to pay attention during the examination, to ignore the protective anger that was still boiling full-strength in his chest, but it wasn't terribly easy. He had to keep taking deep, quiet breaths, trying not to let on that anything was wrong, and his answers to Dr. Conaway's few questions were slightly more curt than usual. Barnaby wanted to apologize for it—the worry, exhaustion, and frustration were plain as day on Tomoe's face—but he couldn't yet manage to convey it in words.
Trying to instead convey his apology in actions, he tried to be as gentle and caring as possible as they at last left the examination room. He held her hand and let his other hand rest on the small of her back as they returned to the car, helping her carefully into the passenger seat and shutting the door. Barnaby glared in all directions in case of any hidden reporters, then got into the driver's seat and started driving home. He took consciously-deepened breaths in a further attempt to cool his anger, having to do so the entire way home.
She was glad to be sitting in the car now, giving her legs and especially her ankles some rest. Sighing heavily, her hand reached out to rest with his on the stick shift. He was still trying to calm down, and for some reason that made a blush cross her face; turning her head away to hide it. It'd been months since they had had any sexual encounters, and stopping to think about it now at the worst of times, when him being angry was what was making her like this - made her heart race just a little too much, made her face flush a little too red. How much more could she embarrass herself in one day?
Shifting and fidgeting anxiously, she tried to calm herself — it was proving more difficult than she expected, her body more demanding than she wanted it to be. They'd be home soon, that's what she continued to tell herself, along with thoughts of 'Why now?' and 'Aaah, stupid, stupid, stupid!'. The brunette didn't even notice that they were parked in the complex's garage until Barnaby had called her name to catch her attention. Her embarrassed blush not dying down, she quickly fumbled with the car door, feet meeting the hard pavement.