Things Said under the Stars

Just a little mini story I wrote for Claire and Mohinder (@MohinderSuresh).

It’d been a few months now since Claire had felt their baby quickening in her body, the tiny movements which reminded her she bore a life within herself aside from her own. Even Mohinder had felt them now, through the gentle exploration of her stomach. The growth of their child was not the only change her body had undergone, and though she was still mostly her elegant self, Claire found she had a much easier time in open spaces now that every bit of her was larger than before.

Understanding this, Mohinder had gone about preparing a picnic dinner for them while she was napping, including a host of her favorite foods. Packing them up, he waited for her to wake and traipse into the living room, which she did, not fully awake but nonetheless delighted at his thoughtful proposition. After she tidied up a bit, Mohinder drove them to their favorite, reclusive spot in the park and spread the blanket out as the sun began its descent along the horizon. Claire carefully lowered herself onto the blanket, leaning against the tree she suspected was a determining factor in Mohinder’s selection of placement—he’d been so mindful of the little things like that since they discovered she was pregnant.

“Oh, you got the lemon tarts from the tea shop downtown,” she cooed, smiling up at him, gratitude evident in her eyes. Mohinder smiled back, pulling out the rest of the treats.

“Those, and the red pepper humus from the deli next door. And your favorite club crackers, boursin cheese, and many, many fresh fruits. And I made you garlic roasted potatoes and black bean burgers, with all the best toppings. And chai, of course.” He brought out the thermos of chai last and set it among the rest of the spread, finally arranging himself comfortably and loading both their plates. Claire, not wanting to feel totally useless, poured their tea and rested against the tree once more, closing her eyes briefly. It seemed as though she was always tired these days. Lamp posts lining the walking path provided enough light to see their meal, and the stars began peeking out into the dusky sky.

Mohinder couldn’t help but note Claire’s fatigue, normal for her current state, though she hadn’t been so prior to her pregnancy. Though he knew she was strong, would bear anything for their child, he knew the changes she was experiencing were uncomfortable at the least, depriving her of the ability to do much of what she enjoyed. He passed her the plate he’d prepared, taking the opportunity to sit closer to her. “I don’t know what it must be like to be pregnant,” he said, face suddenly somber, “but I do know that I want you to be comfortable, and have everything you need. I would do this for you every night if necessary.” Taking her hand in his, Mohinder squeezed it gently. “We are going to have a beautiful baby, and I will take care of both of you.”

Claire smiled fondly at him, feeling her heart expand, tears welling at the corners of her eyes. The last several months with Mohinder had changed her life in virtually every way imaginable, and all of them positive. Despite this, she was still unused to moments like these, when he floored her with his kindness. She found it difficult to let him do things for her, pamper her, but she was slowly coming to terms with the reality that she could rely on him, that she didn’t have to be so stubbornly strong all the times. Setting her plate down, Claire pulled him to her by tugging on his hand, not quite capable of kneeling next to him like she wanted to.

“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” she whispered, allowing a few tears to actually fall down her cheeks. She could see Mohinder’s eyes tearing up a bit as well, but he was smiling as he leaned over to kiss her cheek. “Truly…I….I find myself actually speechless. You are too kind to me.”

Brushing away the tears from her face, Mohinder shook his head. “There is no such thing. Even if you were not carrying our daughter, you would still have my heart. And that is worth everything I can give you.”

Claire took his hand from her face, kissing it before letting go. His confidence in their love, his frequent assertions that she would be a splendid mother, kept her grounded and she’d begun to believe him. Still, his own fierce love took her aback. “You have my everything as well, ma chere….” Having no further words, she kissed him instead, knowing he would understand her heart through her lips.

The End

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