Ok, I know that I said I was going to wait to update this until I was done with my other fic, but apparently, I can't stay away. My reasoning last time was that I had technically already written chapter 4 of the other fic. I have not written chapter 5, though I did just update my outline.
This little idea came to me this morning when I was half asleep in the shower, so forgive me if it's stupid.
"Anna." John Bates called out quietly, shutting the door to the little cottage he shared with his wife of two years. He smiled to himself when he did not get a response.
She must be sleeping. He thought. At eight months pregnant, Dr. Clarkson had advised Anna to rest as much as possible. Not working had been bad enough for her to deal with, but sitting with her feet up for the majority of the day was driving his wife stir crazy. He was glad that she was actually getting some rest today.
He hung up his jacket and poked his head into the small parlor where she liked to nap in front of the fire. No Anna.
"Anna?" John began to climb the stairs to the second level of their home when he heard her calling.
Her muffled voice alarmed him and he ascended the rest of the steps quickly and headed into the bedroom where he expected to find her. The room was also empty.
"Anna!" He called, louder and more urgently this time, concerned for her wellbeing.
"John!" Her voice answered from across the hall in their small washroom.
Crossing the hall and opening the door, John stopped dead with the sight before him. His beautiful wife, sitting in a bathtub full of water, her arms crossed over her chest, shivering violently.
"What are you doing?" He asked gently, not sure what the appropriate reaction would be.
Anna looked incensed and embarrassed all at the same time.
"I thought a bath would make me feel better, but when I was done, I couldn't get out. I tried to reach my towel but I slipped."
John bit his knuckle to keep from laughing. "So, you're stuck."
A furiously indignant look crossed Anna's face. "Yes, John Bates, your very pregnant wife is stuck in the bathtub...for hours, mind you...so just keep laughing!"
A bark of laughter escaped from him uncontrollably and he clamped his hand over his mouth to prevent any more from escaping.
Crossing the room, he picked up Anna's towel from where is was laying and rested it on the side of the tub. Positioning his bad leg against the tub, he reached down and wrapped his arms around Anna. The water was cold and he quickly pushed with his good leg to raise them both up.
Once Anna was on her own two feet, John wrapped the towel around her shoulders and helped her step out of the tub. She dried off quickly, still shivering and John draped her dressing gown around her.
Fully dressed, John took hold of Anna's hand and moved to kiss her palm in a gesture of comfort. Stopping before her hand reached his lips, he laughed again.
"What?" Anna asked, her ego still hurt.
"You're so pruney." John couldn't help but laugh, full and loud as he gestured to her hand.
"Oh, John." Much to his surprise, Anna began to cry.
"Anna, don't cry darling." John pulled her into his arms and began to rub soothing circles on her back as she sobbed.
"I am so fat that I can't even get out of the tub! I'm surprised you didn't need a winch and pulley to get me up! I can't work, I can't even walk around when I feel like it! I feel so useless!"
"Anna..." John whispered gently, "You're pregnant. Pretty soon, we'll have a beautiful baby and you'll be well on your way to feeling like yourself again." John felt a chuckle vibrate deep in his chest, threatening to betray him once again. "Until then," he swallowed another chuckle, "you'll just have to save your bathing to when I'm home."
Anna, her head on his chest, could feel the mirth he was trying to hide and it overwhelmed her tears. A small laugh escaped her, followed by more until they were both laughing heartily.
John took her by the hand to lead her out of the bathroom. "Come on, my beautiful pruney wife. Let's go down to the parlor and warm you up."