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 Hot Potato, timsley
tim was making it a habit to go visit ainsley had work. they set up a day that worked best with both their schedules and he grabbed them lunch. he reluctantly let her know that he was struggling with money so he couldn't really treat her but she didn't seem upset with it. sometimes he did "treat" by making a meal to bring in but other times she just said what she wanted and paid him back. now that tim had made back what he lost in vegas, he was back to budgeting out things. most went to bills, some went into savings, and he put just a little aside for fun money. which included these meals with ainsley because these for him were fun. especially since he didn't talk about caroline. he didn't even bring up about their break. if she asked how caroline was doing, he just said she was good and busy with work before moving on. he just wasn't ready to talk about it with everyone until things were a little more settled. mostly because he was enjoying having everything be fun.

as tim carried the bags down the hall, he thought it was weird. it wasn't something that ainsley normally liked but he figured that frankie got her trying new things. which he was all for. while he enjoyed eating healthy, lately he had been on a junk food kick. it brought him a bit of comfort. which is why he was also looking for some kind of workout that he would enjoy. which was rare. he didn't like to run or lift weights so he was searching for something. which he planned to ask ainsley about.

when he knocked on the door, he peeked in and glanced around. "hello, hello. i come bearing the gifts of the gods of the kitchens." he held the bags up as he grinned at her. "i can't remember how long we have until your next class. please tell me we're not going to be rushing this."

Ainsley knew she had lunch with Tim today, but she had completely lost track of time. She'd taught a class that morning and was grading some homework now. Between all of that she'd met with her bosses to explain the situation with her pregnancy. Considering they'd just hired her and now she was wanting maternity leave in May, it went surprisingly well. They even gave her an extension on getting her funding for research. It was probably mostly due to the fact that her due date lined up perfectly with the end of the semester. If all things went according to plan, she would only need to have another teacher fill in to proctor the final exam. Of course things probably wouldn't go according to plan, simply because she needed them to.

When Tim knocked on the door, it made her jump but luckily not enough to scatter the papers in front of her. "Oh thank god, I'm starving," she admitted and immediately set everything aside. She knew she had to tell Tim - he was her best friend, he deserved to know before she made the official announcement. She just couldn't help but be nervous about it. Ainsley hadn't said anything, but again, Tim was one of her best friends and she could tell when something was up with him. Something was definitely up, but when he wanted to talk about these things he talked about them. When he didn't, he'd avoid them like the plague so it was normally best to just let him bring it up.

"No more class, we have all afternoon," she said as she stood up and moved over to the table on the other side of the office. She was wearing a pretty loose sweater, so it hid her tiny bump completely. She could get away with not telling him today if she wanted to... no, she needed to tell him. She cleared off a couple things from the table and sat down in the chair closest to the desk. "What's up?" she asked, hoping maybe, miraculously, Tim would choose today to talk about what was going on with him.
With more time to himself, tim was taking advantage of being out on his own. There were a few hobbies that he was definitely interested in trying. Some he knew would be deemed “cool” while others might raise a couple brows. The thing was, he didn’t really care either way. He had been gardening and didn’t care what anyone thought about it. Now he just needed to figure out what he could afford to do. Everything in life came down to money. Right now, a lot was being set aside towards bills to give to caroline for the house. His sister thought that he was pretty stupid for letting her stay in the house but he didn’t want to be there. That house was supposed to be for their future. He didn’t really want to be someplace that made him feel such intense hate for a person that he was supposed to love. That love was still there but there was still so many frustrations and uncertainty lingering that he couldn’t move past.

“well that’s what happens when you don’t take a break. Weren’t you a nutritionist before and tote about eating every few hours?” he released the bag to her as he shut the door behind him. He really didn’t want to deal with any students. This was his time with ainsley. With how busy he had been past his break with caroline, he hadn’t seen her enough or really anyone until now. So tim was making up for it frequently with people. He just felt bad that it took this long and that he was hiding so much from her. He just wasn’t ready to talk about everything going on with his relationship and his mom when he didn’t really understand what was in his mind.

Tim was excited to hear that they had the afternoon together. He settled right down into the chair across from her. “well, i’m here with you so that’s what’s up right now. Now for in general, i’ve been helping out jo with my mom. It’s been nice. Oh and i’m finally cutting back on work a little so you can stop yelling at me. What about you? Are you still liking it here?”

She laughed a little as Tim reminded her of the thing she always used to harp on him about. "In a past life I was a nutritionist," she pointed out. Honestly, it seemed like she'd been at this job forever. Okay, not forever, but her time as a nutritionist as the hospital seemed incredibly far away. Ainsley kind of had a way of just immersing herself fully in whatever she was doing so she kind of lost track of time. "Now I'm in academia and it has wrecked my eating schedule," she laughed again. It was true, she definitely hadn't mastered the art of teaching and being able to regulate her intake down to the minute like she did before. Even though she was only starting out, she had students coming to her all the time and she was trying to get involved with as much as humanly possible because she really wanted to make a difference for these kids.

Once the door was shut and they were sat down at the table, she reached into the bag to distribute the boxed food and wasted absolutely no time driving a fork into some food and basically shoveling it into her mouth. It probably could have been garbage at this point and Ainsley would have eaten it -- she was hungry. She nodded to let him know she was listening as he explained that he'd been spending time with his sister and his mom. "That's good," she agreed while continuing to chew. She felt like he was omitting some key information but she didn't exactly have anything concrete to call him out on so she didn't. Once the question was reversed, she finished her bite while nodding vigorously. "Love it," she beamed, "I finally feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be." It felt so good to finally be able to say that and mean it. "Frankie and I are looking at houses starting tomorrow..." Well, Ains, it's as good a time as any. "Aaaaand I have some news..." she was putting off saying the words because honestly she wasn't sure how Tim was going to react. He was in healthcare, and those friends tended to react a little differently than those who weren't. "I'm pregnant."
“ah so it just took college to ruin you. I think you’re late for that train. That’s supposed to happen in freshmen year.” tim grinned. He liked seeing ainsley unwind a little on what she did and didn’t eat. It amused him. He’d never actually shame her for food because food was amazing. He probably went too far with it at times. There was a noticeable gut forming, which he was probably going to start battling very soon. Not with giving up food though because he really had so little that he actually enjoyed right now. Tim just didn’t see the point in giving up the things that made him happy. “well, you could use some advice with having small snacks throughout the day. You could eat them between classes.” he let out an exaggerated gasp and covered his mouth like it was some major epiphany that was hitting him in that moment. Which had him expecting to have something thrown at his head soon.

Tim knew that he should tell ainsley what was going on with him and caroline. This was something she could help with but every time he thought about telling a friend about it, the words got stuck in his throat. He didn’t feel like anyone could give him advice until he knew where he wanted things to go. Everyone could give their opinion-and the couple people who did know the situation had-and he didn’t want more. He just wanted distractions and ainsley dropped a big one.

Tim’s reaction was probably a bit much for just being her friend but he leaned forward exitedly. “wait really?” there was a bit of a bounce in his seat as he glanced at her stomach and then back at her face. “ainsley!” she was going to have a baby. That was good news. Something worth celebrating and definitely taking all of his attention. “holy shit. This is amazing. How far along are you?” now that explained the house a bit more. They were going to need room for a baby that tim was already planning to spoil.

"I mean, I'm kind of a freshman again. I'm teaching freshman," she pointed out with a laugh. When she was in college, she was never actually a true freshman. She'd taken so many advanced placement classes she basically came into UNO as a sophomore. But that was entirely beside the point. She knew she had to take care of herself, especially now, but at the same time she couldn't be so uptight about everything. There was a lot of stuff going on in her body right now and she just didn't have the energy to be her "usual" self. If something didn't get done, it would be there tomorrow. If she didn't know the answer to something, she'd figure it out. It was a new way of life for her, but one she was oddly comfortable with. "What? You mean I can do that? Gosh, Tim, you should be a dietitian."

Upon seeing Tim's response, Ainsley couldn't have wiped the grin off her face if she wanted to. While the whole situation might have been controversial to some, she was so freaking happy. "Really!" she basically squealed back, unable to contain her own excitement. A lot of Ainsley's close friends were pretty calm and cynical, so it felt good to have someone finally be as outwardly excited as she was. She knew the others were happy for her, but she seemed to gravitate toward those people who didn't show much in the way of positive emotions. She finished up her bite of lunch and swallowed it down. "Almost 15 weeks," she explained. It was crazy how fast this was flying by. To drive the point home, she stood up and picked up her sweater to reveal the small-ish baby bump on her abdomen. It could have just been a post-Thanksgiving meal to someone who wasn't paying attention, but was very real to Ainsley. "I'm due around the beginning of May," she added, and sat back down to dig back into her lunch.
Tim hadn’t really had a college experience. He obviously ate crappy food and stayed up late but he didn’t party a lot because it came after a rough time in his life. He didn’t want to mess up his life a second time by falling into the party scene. For him, it worked. He focused on his degree because he didn’t want to be a disappointment anymore. His parents never outright said that he was one but he always felt like it. They pumped a bunch of money into lawyers fees. When he was out, he busted his ass to pay for school himself. Which made him extra reluctant to ask for help with anything. Even when he moved in with jo, he made sure that he could get her money quickly for his part of living there. Thankfully he didn’t feel like he had to bust his ass with overtime and jobs at clinics or out of the state in order to survive. Tim could focus on himself as well as other people. “really? It might be an interesting career change but i feel like nursing is more lucrative.” not to mention something he actually loved.

Tim loved ainsley. From very early on, they had clicked with one another as friends. When she switched jobs, it had been bittersweet because he was excited for her but he also missed her. It didn’t feel the same there without her. Everyone was moving on. Even sierra was going to school to get an office job while he was just stuck due to finances. It did nothing to help his already bitter mood. He usually just swallowed it down but he found there were times it just bubbled up. Thankfully, that wasn’t happening now. He’d be pissed at himself if he got upset when this was such good news. “can i feel it?” tim was obviously referring to the bump. He always felt weird just touching people’s bumps but this was ainsley. He already loved this kid since he loved her. “spring babies are the best babies,” he boasted since he was an april baby himself. “you know i’m going to show up at the hospital as soon as you tell me to come. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” there was going to be a new baby in their lives. This was good. Really good but he felt a little sting of jealousy. He wanted that. He thought he’d have his own kids one day but that dream was becoming a lot more distant. “is frankie stoked?”

Try as she might, Ainsley wasn't sure she could ever imagine Tim doing anything but nursing. He was so passionate about it, and not to mention he was really good at it. She hoped that the nurses were half as nice as Tim when she went in to have her baby. God, that was a whole other set of things to think about, how she wanted to have the baby, all that good stuff. She imagined the typical fashion was best but, like everything else, she'd do her research on the different methods. The farther she got into this pregnancy, the more she realized she had a lot to do and the weeks during which to do so were beginning to dwindle.

"Of course!" she said, granting him permission to touch her bump. "You have permanently standing permission to touch," she chuckled. Almost every mom told her that was one of the most annoying thing about pregnancy, the constant touching by random people who assumed her stomach was now magically public property. "Ooh, maybe you two will have the same birthday!" she wiggled her brows a bit. She knew his birthday was more toward the beginning of April, but due dates were always just an estimate after all. For all Ainsley knew, the baby could come even earlier than that. She hoped not, but it could always happen. "Absolutely. As soon as I'm decent you'll be welcome to come visit," she told him with a smile. She and Tim were close and were both involved in the medical field, but she felt like she probably would have enough people all up in her lady business that day, she probably wouldn't want to show it off to her best friend.

While continuing on her lunch, she gave a nod. "He's super excited. A little nervous. I mean, I think we both are," she admitted. Ainsley wasn't nervous so much about raising a child, she was just anxious about the responsibility involved with her actually putting the child into the world. She just wanted to do everything right. "Okay, I'll admit, I'm pretty nervous," she came clean.
“yeah i’m not falling into that trap but i’m touching now.” tim felt this twinge of jealousy on the edges of his excitement. “don’t wish that. I’ll start to steal them on their birthday.” which he was probably going to do something anyways. “i’d say don’t be but that won’t work. You’re going to be a good mom though.”
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