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Fic: Home

Home by sheafrotherdon
~ 500 words; a wee Iowa snippet.

It's the smell of damp, sun-warmed earth that tells John spring's coming. The trees are still winter-bare, the prairie grass pale and dry by the roadside, and for all that there's a robin in the oak by the barn it's the scent, not the birdsong, that says winter's lost its hold. It's chilly still, despite the sun, and John stands on the porch in the sweet, early quiet, wraps his hands tightly around his coffee mug, rocks on his heels to test the give of the boards. He thinks of tomatoes and neat lines of spinach, of onions pulled from dirt and summer corn, huffs when he catches the curl of his thinking, ambles down the porch steps and out to the yard before daydreams can interrupt the business he woke to do.

Thrown up against the eastern sky, the house is shadowed and secret, the roof a dark line against clouds limned with pink. John pulls at his coffee, rounds the house to the north, eyes the downspout and the siding and the paint. The sills are still strong; the storm windows firm despite another set of blizzards. He should probably clean the gutters again, chase out what he let be when November turned bitter, and an up-close look at the shingles can't hurt.

Below the kitchen window is a pile of rocks – Merrie's industry last summer, a shrine to something that only she knew. There's a chip in the paint at the corner of the porch rail, a dent from a baseball, a trail of fingerprints in an eight-year-old's hand, and John chokes a little to remember that mess, how long it took to get two coats of thick red paint out of Finn's hair, how he and Rodney had held it together until they got to bed then laughed until their bellies hurt, laughed until they cried. There's a crack in the dining room window – Thomas the Tank Engine, launched by a three-year-old, Christmas morning – and he can replace that himself, makes a mental note to buy some putty.

A grumble behind him; big hands grab his mug. "You know I don't sleep well once you get up," Rodney says, crowding against John's side.

"We've got other mugs," John points out. "More coffee in the pot."

"As if that's the point," Rodney mumbles indistinctly, nose buried in the cup. His hair's askew, a pillow crease in his cheek. He comes up for air. "What are you doing, anyway?"

"Chore list," John says, jerking his chin toward the house. "Spring's coming."

"Huh." Rodney looks around them with more interest. "Really?"

"Really." John smiles at his befuddlement, at how city stories can still shape Rodney's world despite the Iowa years he wears so easily. "C'mere," he says fondly, hauling Rodney in to kiss him, steadying him with a hand.

"We could be doing this in bed," Rodney says against his mouth, but he's smiling as he returns the kiss. "We have a very nice bed. King sized. You might remember it."

"Shhh," John murmurs, turns his head to look at their home, slings his arm around Rodney's shoulders. "Say goodbye to winter."

"'Bye, winter," Rodney mumbles, nose in the mug again, but he's warm and solid against John's side, and the robin's found a mate to chatter with companionably, and the kids are still sleeping, and all's right with the world.


( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 16th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
eee! \o/ yis, winter is almost gone. I love that John identifies spring by smell, and his chore list (Thomas the Tank Engine has sharp edges), and his grumpy coffee thief. This is so peaceful and contemplative...I love the order John will restore, and the final sentence. ♥
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
bweeeeee, I am so glad you liked it, my love! ♥
Mar. 16th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
Hello, John and Rodney! Bye, winter! ::happy sigh::
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
bweeee :D ♥
Mar. 16th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Sweet and beautiful. Even grumpy!Rodney *g*
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
yay, I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you!
Mar. 16th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Eee, can't wait to read!
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
(no subject) - lilyfarfalla - Mar. 27th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
I love Merrie's pile of rocks. <3
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
She was very proud of them herself!
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
This verse always makes me happy.

Our spring token is the daffodils out back, and they're well and truly up.
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
I've seen crocuses come up from nothing in the past two days - amazing to see!
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
(Damn you LJ for eating my first comment!)

Just so beautifully written... You know I adore this 'verse! Rodney with the coffee stealing, and John with the mental notes about what to do come Spring. Finn with his arm (I bet John was half proud, and thought about buying Finn a football right on the spot of seeing Finn launch his toy train through the air - and Rodney of course saying that if Finn plays any sport it'll be hockey). And Merrie and her rocks... This story makes me happy and warm, like when you step into that first Springtime sunbeam that gets rid of the thoughts of cold and snow to make way for flowers and a garden and thoughts of the kids running around chasing lightningbugs through the last traces of daylight...

Edited at 2012-03-16 09:39 pm (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it, sweets! (Although the train was Merrie's - she's a big fan of Thomas :D Rodney will tell you how many times he's had to watch Misty Island Mystery.)
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
My favorite verse .
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
500 words of joy!
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
bweee, thank you, sweets!
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Awww. Gave me a huge, huge smile.
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
I'm so glad, sweetness! ♥
Mar. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Pink lined clouds, sun-warmed earth, the smell of coffee. I love your Iowa spring. ♥
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
thank you, sweets!
Mar. 16th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
MmmmMMmm sheerly luscious.
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
:D thank you, sweets!
Mar. 16th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Morning kisses and coffee!

Mar. 17th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
♥ thank you!
Mar. 16th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Aaaw, Merrie!!

These stories always put a huge smile on my face and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Awww, I'm so glad! thank you, sweets!
Mar. 17th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
OMG YAY!!! ♥ x forever
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( 67 comments — Leave a comment )

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