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 # Flashlight, ROSALIE WALLACE


Rosie wanted 'that Noah'- the one who put time and effort, an immense amount of it, to set up a scavenger hunt. The Noah who wasn't borderline self-absorbed, more concerned with having fun than being a good husband and father. She deserved it. Their day out doing wedding things was a real eye-opener, even more so than getting kicked out for a night. Sure, that had been scary, but it was so brief, and was not really followed up; Noah didn't learn his lesson. He just did one big thing- the proposal- and kind of figured that erased everything she had issues with. But it didn't. It temporarily elevated her mood, but it didn't get to the core of their problems. Being directly told that he was bothering her, seeing how upset she was with him on what should have been a very special occasion for them, it was his wake-up call.

He wanted to do better. He wanted to be better. If Noah didn't shape up- he didn't even want to think about what Rosie would do. It didn't mean he had to completely change. He realized that now. He could still be reasonably childish. He could still be all things that were Noah, he just needed to reign it in a little- behave better around the kids, and most importantly, put more effort into his marriage and spend less time just doing whatever selfish shit he felt like doing.

Noah started out the day acting as though it was just a normal Sunday, no special meaning at all. (Hey, at least he managed not to purposely pick a fight, like he did one year.) He took the kids to the store with him, and came back with a bouquet of flowers, the brightest yellow ones he could find; he'd always thought Rosie looked best in yellow. In a move that stunned even Noah, he made multiple plans, depending on whether she wanted the day for just the two of them, or to spend it with the kids. Noah knew what he preferred, but today wasn't about him. He pulled back into their driveway and climbed out of the car, making sure each of the kids had 'their' present; each child carried a mason jar with their hand print on it, filled with candies. "Go on, let's go get mom," he told htme, and followed the trio into the house. "Babe!" he called out, and the kids started shouting Mom! Mom! Mom!

---


Noah and Rosalie hadn't uttered one word to each other about Mother's Day plans. Of course, Rosalie didn't usually say anything about it, as she felt like it was a little self absorbed to say something like "dont' forget Mother's Day is coming up!" or something to that affect. If Noah and the kids forgot, well she'd be hurt of course. But she wasn't going to throw a fit or make a big deal about it. She would just maybe....circle it on next year's calendar with a red sharpie.

When the day started like any other Sunday morning, with Rosalie making their traditional Sunday Brunch of Pancakes, Sausage and fresh squeezed Orange Juice, she figured Noah and the kids had, as she suspected they would, forgotten. Rosalie tried not to be too upset. After all, things had been a bit crazy of late, what with planning the wedding and all. Even her mind had been elsewhere most of the time. She would just have to swallow her hurt and move on with the day. But things turned hopeful when, after brunch, Noah rounded up the kids and they left for a while. Maybe she was going to get a Mother's Day after all. Rosalie didn't need a big fancy gift or anything. Even handmade cards from the kids would have made things special.

After Noah and the kids left, Rosalie cleaned up the kitchen and put everything away. She knew she probably should have gone up to work in her studio. She had three commissioned pieces to work on. But she decided instead, to kick back and enjoy the sunshine. She made herself some lemonade and put on her patio robe and her sun hat. She went out to the back patio with a stack of magazines she never had anytime to read and kicked back in one of the lounge chairs, the warm rays of sun greeting her.

After a while, Rosalie heard the familiar hum of Noah's car pulling into the driveway. A few moments later the door opened and she could hear the sweet voices of her children calling for her. Smiling,s he got up for her chair and went inside where they each greeted her with a jar of her favorite candies and Noah stood behind her with a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers. What's all this? Rosalie asked with a smile, as her beautiful children handed her her gifts. Thank you! Rosalie hugged and kissed each of them, her heart full of happiness at the effort. This is so sweet guys. Rosalie smiled at Noah and kissed his lips. Thank you baby.
She put her arm around his waist and leaned her head against his shoulder, thinking this was all of her gift and she was satisfied with it too. They had remembered and they had thought to bring her something. It was sweet.

adorable


Part of Noah thought it was silly, needing a special day to honor mothers. Shouldn't he and the kids do that every day, make Rosie feel special? But then again, he didn't even do that half the time, which he was realizing more and more would cause serious problems down the road. It was already, on a much smaller scale, causing problems. Even Noah could see it would only get worse if he didn't make a serious change. The kids were on-board. They were such sweet young people, they would do just about anything to make their mother happy. Noah was trying to swallow the small amount of pride he'd lose by learning from them, instead of the other way around.

"It's... mother's day!" He paused for half a beat. "Right?" Oh god, he hadn't missed it, had he? Was it last Sunday? Next Sunday? He could never be sure. There were still Mother's Day related items on shelves in the stores, so he assumed it wasn't too late, but he'd still feel like an asshole for doing it too early, as if the store was all that reminded him- like people who only remembered birthdays because of facebook alerts. He smiled and returned her kiss, but briefly; the kids were far from sheltered, and certainly ought to know what affection between loving parents looked like, but it felt wrong to full-on make out in front of them. He could be overly cautious like that. (Never mind that he was perfectly willing to watch not-for-kids cartoons around them.)

Noah snaked one arm around her. "I have another gift for you. And a couple different plans. It depends on what you want today to look like." This was far beyond his usual scope of thought; if he planned things at all, it was mainly related to what he'd want. But this was her day and he would be more conscious of her preferences. "Firstly, just us, or kids too?"

---


Rosalie laughed and nodded. Yes, it is Mother's Day. She was proud of Noah for actually coming through today. Maybe he really had been listening to the things that she said. She always assumed that when her mouth opened, Noah's ears shut off. But maybe she had judged him unfairly in this.

Rosalie looked at him in surprise when he said there was more. Okay....who are you and where is my husband. She teased lovingly as his arm snaked around her body. First the proposal and now Mothe's Day plans. Maybe Noah was finally growing up. Was that too much to hope for? She pushed it from her mind just in case he would still be a petulant child for the next decade or two of their marriage. Either way, she knew she wouldn't be able to help loving him, which was pretty annoying sometimes.

Noah's next question was a hard one. Just them or the kids? Well, the kids would soon be out of school, which would mean Rosalie and Noah probably wouldn't get any time alone together all summer...So she made her choice. Hmmmm....how about just us this time? She mused.
<3


Noah hoped that, soon, him coming up with plans, doing nice things for his wife, would not leave her so shocked. "I killed him. I'm wearing his skin right now." He froze for a moment, looking down to see Bruce looking up at him wide-eyed. Ah, shit. "Sorry. It was a joke, buddy. A bad one. I'm your dad. Don't kill people." Or skin them; but then again, that part was implied. This was another thing Noah knew he needed to work on, being conscious of when the kids were within earshot, and watching his mouth when they were. He never wanted to upset Rosie as much as he did the day Daphne got in trouble for the bad things she'd seen on a cartoon she shouldn't have been watching.

He couldn't help but be glad that Rosie chose just them. He loved the kids, he knew she did too, and he was wanting to be a more involved father than he already was, which certainly meant spending time with them, in person. But parenting was exhausting. It took time away from the relationship with Rosie. He could only do so many things in the 24 hours a day he was allotted, and he had to sleep some time. He wanted to be able to spend time with Rosie too, and with school ending, more time would be eaten up with the kids. They needed to take the opportunity to be together, just the two of them, while they could, and leave family time for the summer. "Sure. I'll call mom." He pressed a kiss to her temple and withdrew his arm, taking a step away.

Noah pulled out his phone and called his mother- for a second time that day. He'd called her earlier, while he and the kids were out, so they could all wish her a happy mothers' day. He hadn't done much for it as a kid, but as he grew up and had kids of his own, he started realizing more and more that he needed to make sure he at least called her every year for one special day. "Hey mom. We're going with plan B. ...Alright, thanks." He hung up and slipped the phone into his pocket. "She'll be here for them in a few." Looking down, he signed to Daphne while he spoke. "You're all going to grandma's so Mom and I can spend a little time together."

---


Rosalie sighed a little at Noah's "shocking news" and rolled her eyes, but the smile never left her face. She leaned over and kissed her youngest on the top of the head. Daddy was just being silly. She chimed in, not wanting any fall out at school or even tonight when Bruce went to go to sleep, from Noah's comment. It wouldn't have been the first time that something Noah had said had given Bruce nightmares. But Rosalie could tell that Noah was trying to be more aware about things and handle them better, especially in front of the kids. So hopefully those days were behind them.

As Noah called his mother, Rosalie sat down with her candy and opened the jars, taking a piece from each of them to try. Of course she told them they could try one piece from each of the jars as well. Rosalie was not the type to eat treats in front of her children. Either they had them together, or Noah and Rosalie would indulge when the kids went to bed. And Rosalie always made sure they were all soundly asleep before they did. One of the things she had hated growing up, was going to bed and then hearing her parents going into the kitchen and opening the freezer for ice cream, or her mom popping open some Pillsbury cookies and throwing them in the oven. And they didn't even try and hide the evidence. Just threw it on the trash and she would see it in the morning when she scraped her plate after breakfast. Rosalie herself always put the "evidence" in a grocery bag and took it right to the outside bin, so the kids wouldn't find it and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to see through the bag and tell what it was.


As Noah reentered the room, Rosalie watched fondly as he signed to her daughter while he spoke to the boys. All three children were immediately thrilled as they loved spending time with their grandparents on both sides of the family. Rosalie was glad that they all had a good relationship and she hoped the kids would never grow out of wanting to spend time with their grandparents.

Rosalie looked up at Noah.So...should I change? Or is what I'm wearing alright? She had a blouse with sunflowers and a white pair of shorts and some leather flip flops. As it was Noah's surprise, it was up to him to judge whether she was dressed appropriately or not.
<3


Noah would never be a flawless husband or father. It would be arrogant of him to assume otherwise; after all, he was a human, plain and simple. Even if he was as dedicated as he could be to being a better person in general (but especially at home), he would still have moments where he backslid. He would still make jokes he shouldn’t make, and fail to catch himself in time to not let the kids hear. He might still fail to realize when a show was not age-appropriate for whichever child was in the room with him when he started watching. He might even still have times when he just couldn’t handle Adulting, and want to put himself first. All he could really do was hope for the best, that he did more good than bad, and that he never caused irreparable harm to the kids’ psyches- or his marriage. With Rosie’s help, he knew he could improve, and get better at least at knowing what sorts of things were and were not okay around the kids.

Rosie had always been better than him about not indulging in things the kids couldn’t have around them. Noah, though he did not purposely eat cake (or cookies, or whatever else was Just For Him) in front of the kids- he wasn’t a monster- also did not always think first. Luckily, Rosie had been reminding him for ages, and was usually the one to end up cleaning up the evidence. He could totally pitch in more. He made a mental note to pass along a hack, of sorts, he’d seen to his wife, a way to hide candy where the kids would not find it and get salty about not being shared with. It was more or less just putting candy inside an emptied-out bag for frozen broccoli- or whatever else the kids would never voluntarily snoop through- and hiding it in plain sight. Brilliant.

Being fluent in ASL was never something Noah imagined for himself, and even if he'd been asked about it seven years ago, he would have laughed. But when your child is born deaf, what else are you going to do? For all his faults, Noah would never be the type of parent who was willfully unable to communicate with their child. He could learn an entire new language if that was what his (only) daughter needed. He wanted to be able to talk to Daphne just the same as he could the boys. And he did. It shocked people, for some reason. Oh well.

"That's fine for now," he told her, and turned so the kids couldn't see him wink- but she could. He didn't want to give away too much straightaway. "Go gather your things," he told the kids, all of whom had small bags they took with them whenever they went to their grandparents' or a friend's.

---



Rosalie was really looking forward to whatever surprise Noah had in store for her. He had been surprising her left and right lately and she was going to be sure to show him how much she appreciated it, later tonight. Noah had been more romantic and thoughtful in the weeks since he re-proposed to her than he had been over the course of almost their whole marriage. Rosalie knew things would have been much different at this point had Noah never been in his accident. But he had and that was that. They were getting life and their relationship back on track though and Rosalie was very happy with the direction things had been going lately.

I better go make sure they get everything they need. Rosalie said before hurrying upstairs to help the kids pack some things to go to their grandparents. She especially had to make sure that the boys packed extra underwear and that all three packed their toothpaste and tooth brushes, as those seemed to be the most forgotten items when going to the grandparents. They all three claimed that they truly "just forgot", but Rosalie wasn't buying it, as they all hated to have to brush their teeth and the boys never seemed to understand the importance of fresh underwear from day to day.


When the kids were packed, Rosalie helped them get their bags downstairs, just in time for Noah's mother to arrive and pick them up. Rosalie gave them each a hug and a kiss and made them promise to be good for their grandmother and not to beg for too many sweets. They were good at taking advantage of their grandmother's weakness in denying them.

As soon as the kids were gone, Rosalie turned to Noah and put her arms around his neck, leaning up to kiss him. Well it's just us. SHe smiled.

<3


"Good call." The kids were smart, but sometimes clueless. They were kids, you know? They forgot things, especially things they were not huge fans of, like toothbrushes. It didn't matter that it was something they needed, or that they would thank their parents later in life, when they still had all their teeth in good condition. Part of Noah didn't blame them. He had a hard time remembering to pack little things like toiletries on the rare occasion that he traveled, too. But kids rarely thought that far ahead, so the parents had to. Or, more accurately, Rosie would be the one to remember it. Sometimes, even Noah felt like there were four kids- and he was one of them. Poor Rosie. How did she end up in such a predicament?

Just as the kids' bags were finished, his mother came. After saying his goodbyes, helping the kids into the car, and once again thanking his mother- for taking the kids, and for putting up with him throughout his childhood- and then they were alone. Finally. With three kids and busy careers, 'alone' did not happen, not for both of them at the same time.

"Well first," he said, after nudging the door shut, and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her in for a kiss. "I have another present for you." He stepped back and away, heading into the kitchen, and crouched down to search through the bottom cabinet where the pots and pans were usually stored. He had to take a good bit of them out- and promptly replaced them, for once considering the clean-up she would be forced to endure if he did not do it himself- then came back to Rosie with a small rustic bucket with some various bath-type items filling it, and a sign hanging from the front that said "spa day in a tin." "I'll run the water for you, and you can sit in there as long as you would like." He would sit beside her if she wanted, or leave her alone, or alternate between keeping her company and bringing her whatever she wanted.

the bucket

---



Rosalie smiled up at her husband and rubbed her nose agaist his after they had shared their tender kiss. Their bodies were close as Noah’s arm hand slinked around her middle and her arms and gone around his neck. His warmth and touching and the way he’d been so sweet so far today made Rosalie very happy. In fact, she was floating. She had that expectant, giddy, school girl freeing in her chest, making her heart beat faster as she excitedly awaited whatever else Noah had planned.

Rosalie watched as Noah disappeared into the kitchen. She smiled in a confused way as she heard him rifling through the cupboard with the pots and pans. What was he looking for? Or maybe he was just trying to throw her off the trail of whatever was really going on? But after a few minutes, Noah returned with her gift. A large smile spread across her features as she read the sign and saw everything that was in the metal bucket. She was shocked at the creativity of the gift. Babe, that’s so sweet. Rosalie purred melodically as she leaned in and kissed him once again. I love it. She breathed.

Rosalie went into their bedroom and pulled her hair up in a clip before slipping out of her clothes and into her bathrobe and slippers. She padded her way into their bathroom where Noah was attending to the tub. The whole room smelled of lavender and honey and the tub was full pleasant bubbles. Rosalie dropped her robe and slid into the tub, closing her eyes as the warm water embraced her. This was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Rosalie looked over at Noah, who was putting away the rest of the bath supplies. You have been holding out on me. She teased him. You really know how to spoil a girl. She reached out with one of her hands and caught his, pulling him down towards her for a kiss. I love you. She smiled against his lips.

Noah is earning himself some major brownie points. <3<3 He’s being so sweet.



Part of Noah kind of knew he'd always had this sort of thing in him. He might be a kind of selfish dick by default, but he'd always known how to be a sweet, thoughtful guy- even if he did not often deploy these skills. He got lazy, he got careless, and now, he recognized the error of his ways, even if it took several mistakes between the proposal and now to really get the hang of it all. It took a lot of mental energy to be this thoughtful, to make the big gestures that would get him farther ahead on his road to making up for all the shit he'd put her through since day one. But seeing her reaction to that proposal, it made all the expended mental energy worth it.

Plus, he got laid.

It made Noah really wish he'd started making things up to Rosie much earlier. Of course, he valued much more about her than her body, and after as long as they had been together, it would be ridiculous to think that the only thing keeping them together was the sex. It helped, and was certainly a part of a healthy, long-lasting marriage, but there was more to them than that. Still, what guy could honestly say it wasn't a perk? It certainly didn't make him not want to do more nice things for Rosie.

He hoped he got the temperature right. It was hot, hotter than he would want if it was his bath, but this wasn't about him. To Noah's credit, he even resisted the urge to make a joke about women being from hell, and that's why they liked hot water. Go, Noah! He moved aside and watched his wife lower herself into the tub. Once satisfied that the temperature wasn't horrifically off from what she would want, he started cleaning after himself, making sure to leave the yet-unused supplies from the bucket nearby. "Thank a friend of mine. It was an idea from um... I don't remember what it's called. Starts with a P." Noah didn't bother with many of the Pinterest or Instagram type apps too often. His Instagram was almost exclusively pictures of Robbie, with an occasional cameo from Rosie. The only thing he messed with with any sort of consistency was the Kardashian game.

"Careful," he mumbled against her lips, letting the kiss linger before he stood up fully. "I don't want to fall in and get the water everywhere."

dude likes gettin' some


Pinterest Rosalie laughed through a smile. Noah never knew what any of that stuff was. Rosalie only knew because she used social media to promote her gallery. But most of the time she has to have Axle help her if she needed to do anything more than a basic post. He has shows her how to “Go Live” and create “Instagram Stories” a few times. But he always forgot how to do it again, so back to Axle she’d go. It always seemed to crack him up that she couldn't figure these thing out on her own. She would often tell him, teasingly of course “You wait! This will beyond someday”.

Rosalie smiled and pressed her lips to Noah’s once again before sinking down into the water again. She laid her head back and closed her eyes, letting out a long breath. The water was the perfect temperature and the soft fragrance in the air made Rosalie so relaxed, she could have dozed off.

After some time, Rosalie decided it was probably time to leave her place in the tub as she was getting all pruney. She wrapped a towel around herself and dried off before slipping back into her robe

Always with the ulterior motives. lol. http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif sorry this is so short



Part of Noah hated that the kids were so much better with technology than he was, at least when it came to cell phones. He could deal with lab equipment all day, and did extremely well with it. He knew how to work computer simulators that would help him test his calculations and theories, which in turn helped bring cases to a close (with, of course, other evidence, but Noah liked to think that he was a Big Helper.) He could use his phone to send texts and make calls and use the internet to look things up. And, of course, he could play his favorite game. He was far from the old man, slow-typing, completely computer illiterate stereotype. But he didn't have a clue about social media, really. He didn't care enough to learn how to do anything more than post a picture to instagram.

He was glad she was enjoying this. She looked so relaxed, a much better scenario than he yelling at him and getting angry and frustrated. He was sure that would happen more than a few times before they were both dead (an unappetizing thought, but Noah was not foolhardy enough to think that neither of them would ever die.) He stayed for a little while, then stepped out to give his wife alone time. Being a mother, a working one at that, was stressful. He certainly didn't help matters most of the time. She deserved a little while, completely to herself, to relax and recover. In the meantime, Noah set up the rest. He got out a handful of DVDs he thought she would like, wanting to give her a variety to choose from without having to look through their entire collection, as well as making her favorite kid of sandwich, and cutting it into triangles, which he took great care to arrange on the plate, which went on a tray next to a cup of her favorite drink and a small vase with one of the flowers he'd gotten her earlier. (The rest of the flowers were in a large vase on the kitchen windowsill.)

Hearing her getting out, he made his way back to the bathroom, and knocked before opening the door. They had three kids, and had been together forever. There was no more 'privacy' for the two of them, nothing on one another's bodies they had not yet seen. Still, he didn't want to startle Rosie, so he knocked to announce his presence first before opening the door. "I have some food for you, and some DVDs for you to choose from. But first, I have something to show you."

dude likes gettin' some


Rosalie was blissfully happy right now. There were moments when Noah did everything right and this was definitely one of them. As Rosalie soaked in the tub, enjoying the first real alone time (outside of work) that she'd had
in months, maybe years, she thought of how much she truly loved her husband. It wasn't always easy to love Noah. Sometimes it felt nearly impossible. But in the end, he always restored her faith in him. He always brought her back to a place of knowing that he was the only man in this world for her. Rosalie really couldn't, and didn't want to actually, imagine her life without him and of course, their kids. They truly were made for each other.

Rosalie had enjoyed every second of today so far and somehow had the feeling that her loving husband had more surprises in store for her. She left the tub and dried herself off. Her lips quirked up into a gentle smile as she heard Noah's soft tap on the door. Come in. Rosalie replied in a sweet tone and smiled as Noah poked his head in from behind the door. Noah was going all out, but in "simple", thoughtful ways. It truly seemed he had thought of everything today. Rosalie was swept off her feet by him once again. He had made her feel like a school girl crushing on the captain of the football team. Her cheeks were blushing and her heart was fluttering in her chest. She hadn't felt this way in years. This was all a major turn on for Rosalie. She didn't need grand gestures, though they were very nice to have from time to time (like Noah proposing again), but it really was the small, thoughtful things that made the different for Rosalie.

You do? Rosalie asked in a slow, dreamy tone as she stepped towards Noah. She planted a gentle kiss on his lips. Well I think you better show me then. Rosalie smiled and slipped her hand into Noah's, following him out of the bathroom.

<3


"Okay, but promise not to get mad." With all the progress he'd been making, it would be a shame for Noah to make such a big, effectively permanent decision without at least running it through her first. She was his filter, of sorts, much better at spotting and stopping a dumb decision than he was; after all, this was the guy who, on his 18th birthday, was dead-set on getting "exit only" tattooed above his ass crack, stopped only by Rosie's insistence that he do something more productive with his newfound (legal) adulthood. But, to run this by her would have ruined the surprise. It was tasteful, he thought, and he'd at least consulted ROBERT PHILLIPS to make sure it wasn't completely ridiculous before he went and did it.

Once in the living room, he stopped, waited for Rosie to sit, then took off his shirt- quickly, so she didn't think some weird, horrible-white-boy-dancing strip-tease was what he wanted to show her- and tossed it aside. "Ta-daaa..." He'd gotten a tattoo- or, it could be argued that he got several, but because it was all done at once and as part of a collection, he only counted it as one. He'd gotten each of the three kids' thumb prints, had them arranged to be heart-shaped (with each child having their own 'heart'), with their birth dates circling each heart. "I left room, uh-" He shuffled a bit, suddenly self-conscious about being shirtless in front of Rosie- never mind that they had three kids and there was nothing new to see, aside from the ink. "I mean, in case there would ever be reason to add another." Once upon a time- several months ago, maybe a year, he couldn't quite remember- Noah felt like Rosie tried to bring up the idea of another kid; he'd brushed it off, partially out of a selfish desire to keep on-track with his proposal plan, and partially because that was far too Adult for him, but with the wedding soonish, at least one reason was a moot point now.

dude likes gettin' some
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