"In theory, they are playing a board game in our house," Lena said in amusement. "I have no doubt they've started to randomly explore by now, though." She loved her boys, but they were very easily egged on by Jack and Jaz's girls.
"They're alone?" Rick said, brows arching upwards. "Then you're not staying," he said, making a pretty safe assumption.
"Everything's inside," Jack said, poking his head into the kitchen, almost as if on cue. "We're gonna go check on the kids. Congrats, you two. Get some rest and let us know when it's safe to visit."
"And there's our cue!" Jaz declared, taking hold of Lena before her cousin could give into the urge to settle in and insist on cuddling the newborn right this minute. She grinned at the new parents. "If you need us, we're right here. Have fun!" Lena yelped as she was dragged away at speed, leaving Nali giggling over her soup.
"Thank you!" Rick called, as the little group left, their voices heard fading as they retreated from the house. "Well, that was nice of them," he said, smiling over at Nali.
"I think we got lucky it wasn't my family," Nali said through her laughter. "You can bet they wouldn't have fed us, tucked us in, and left."
"I'm kind of surprised they're not here," Rick admitted. He adored Nali's family, but they were both a little too exhausted for all of them right now.
"Knowing Mom, she's made them all promise they won't let her pile them onto the carriage and come to visit until they have permission." She sighed happily, setting her spoon back into the now empty bowl. "Oh, I needed that."
"Better than hospital food, isn't it?" he asked, soaking up a bit of soup with his bread before taking a bite. He'd been grabbing quick meals in the hospital cafeteria the last few days, and nothing really substituted for a home-cooked meal, especially when Nali's mother was the one cooking it.
"So much better," she agreed, absently adjusting Ivy in her arms as the baby girl cooed and smacked her lips. "Oh, you want some too?" Dragging her finger along the curve of her bowl to sweep up a tiny amount of the residual soup, Nali offered it to the baby, who licked it up, made a face, and settled back to sleep.
Rick chuckled at the look on their little daughter's face. "I don't think she liked it," he said. That much was obvious. In truth, he would have been shocked if she had.
"She didn't cry," Nali pointed out cheerfully. "One little taste of soup won't do her any harm." She sighed contentedly. "Oh, it's so good to be home. Don't get me wrong, the nurses were great, but I can't exactly wander around in just a t-shirt in the hospital."
"There's no place like home," Rick replied. Rhy'Din hadn't always been home, but these days, there was no other place he'd rather be than here. "I'm sure she'll do her fair share of crying before long," he pointed out. Probably in the middle of the night when they were sleeping.
"I'm sure she will," Nali agreed, looking down at their - for now - contentedly sleeping little girl. "I can't quite believe it's real, you know?"
"I know the feeling," Rick said, following her gaze momentarily to the sleeping pink bundle in her arms. Not a day went by that he didn't thank the powers that be for this new life of his.
"I think it's your turn to cuddle," she said, easing Ivy gently over and into Rick's arms. "I need to check and see if they also made up bottles for us."
"Are you sure?" he said, as he cradled Ivy in his arms. "I can check. You should be resting," he told her, though he made no move to get up just yet. "I doubt those two forgot anything," he added, of Lena and Jasmine's help.
"I'm sure," Nali promised him, moving to stand and gather together their crockery. "Besides, I just spotted that brand new dishwasher and I want to play with it."
"Uh huh," Rick murmured, a smirk on his face, but he didn't bother to argue. He knew she was probably getting antsy after lying in a hospital bed for a few days.
Nali was never going to be someone who just rested when they could. She was a font of energy, even now, busily inspecting the little dishwasher now living on their kitchen counter before loading it. "I can hear you smirking, you know."
"Mmhm," he murmured further, neither confirming nor denying. "They adore you, you know," he said, regarding Lena and Jasmine again.
"I don't think it's just me," she countered gently, looking over at him. "I mean, you're family. I'm just the wife." Her smile gave away how little she actually believed that.
"You're family, too, Nali, and if it wasn't for you, I may have never met Jack," he pointed out, shifting a little to get comfortable in the chair as he gazed down at his daughter.
"If not for Lena, I never would have stalked you into the past," she reminded him in amusement, glancing into the fridge to check. They hadn't made any of the formula up, likely because they didn't know the ratios yet, but there was a space ready and waiting for the bottles, so she pulled out the packet and started to work on that.
"It's a good thing you did," he said, his attention fixed on the little bundle in his arms. He smiled as he offered her a finger and watched her curl her tiny fingers around his with a surprisingly strong grip. "She's beautiful, Nali," he murmured quietly, clearly in awe of their little miracle. It wasn't the first time he'd said so.
"How could she not be?" his wife said fondly. "Look how handsome her poppa is. Although I have to admit, I would adore her even if she was butt fugly."
"Right, because she doesn't look anything like you," he said, with obvious sarcasm. She could probably hear the smirk in his voice again. His gaze never left that of their daughter's, clearly entranced.
"Well, she'll look a little like me," Nali said, concentrating on measuring out formula and filling the bottles with sterilized water. "Hopefully she'll be taller than me, though."