So just a quick update:
I leave tomorrow for a long weekend in Pennsylvania with psubrat. I also get to see sadbhyl again, and most importantly, I get to see psubrat's new baby! *So* need to get these baby urges gone so hopefully this will satisfy those. :)
Alicia is almost done with kindergarten. She exceeded the annual program two months ago, so it's been a tad difficult keeping her busy, but we're coping. She's also been playing softball for the first time and has come leaps and bounds since the beginning. We had our first sports-related injury on Tuesday when her really good hit (1st pitch, into the outfield, woo hoo!) hit her hand as well as the bat. She jammed two fingers and her thumb, but thankfully, nothing was broken and like the trooper she is, she was back playing the next inning. Mommy wanted her to go home, but Alicia would have nothing of it. I can't imagine where she gets that drive. :)
Alex is...Alex. He's been a little sad lately because Alicia has discovered that one of her softball teammates lives across the street and so she is over there *a lot*. He's not used to not having her around and we haven't found little boys around his age for him to play with that live as close. Hopefully, we'll figure something out there soon enough.
I've been mad on writing in the past couple weeks, but the vast majority of it has been original stuff. I have a new project with pepperlandgirl4 that is consuming my brain; we've written 50,000 words in 2 1/2 weeks, and we have a whole series mapped out for when it's done. The thing is, we're going to try something new for us with this. We're going to try the print market. Hopefully, it will work.
As for fanfic...I've recently acquired a lot of people on my flist because of my seasonal_spuffy WIP, so welcome and thank you for being interested enough in checking in here for updates. I *am* going to start updating that regularly, but that won't happen until next week at the earliest. I have a Joyce fic I have to write this weekend for ironfic, but then I can go back to Beg the Liquid Red as my recreational writing. Chapter 8 is half done anyway. Maybe I can finish that this weekend on some of my flying back and forth across the country.
I opted out of this round of Last Author Standing because I knew I'd be busy. But I can post the entry I wrote for the last challenge now. The theme was either Spuffy or Spander. Guess which one I wrote:
Italian rain smelled different.
Spike knew that was ridiculous, of course. He’d been in Rome before, dozens of times---well…twice---and he knew the wankers put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of the world. He knew in spite of a certain immortal’s presence that always managed to ruin everything he tried to plan, that vampires still roamed the streets at night, that young people still partied until dawn, that the sun would rise and set on a schedule that coincided with the rest of the world. So there was absolutely no reason to think that rain slicking the weathered stones on a Roman piazza was any different than that back in California.
Except it was.
Spike breathed it in, ignoring the fact that his leather was going to be ruined by standing in the middle of a downpour, and he didn’t smell the blood that had clogged the tiny Los Angeles alley where Angel had lost his head. He let it fall on his waiting tongue, and he couldn’t taste the dragon’s breath that had heated the rain in LA to painful proportions. Italian rain was different, rich with the scent of soil and the tang of hope.
It made Spike weep. Because he was here to know and the others weren’t.
He saw her feet first, his head bowed as the minutes ticked by. Stylish boots in expensive Italian leather. The hems of her jeans were soaking wet from walking in the rain; his coat would not be the only thing ruined by the timing of their meeting.
When he lifted his eyes to find hers, he wasn’t entirely sure what he would see. Anger, maybe, since it took Angel’s death to drive him back to her. Sadness for close to the reason. Pity.
Buffy surprised him. She always did. Her mouth was soft, and even in the dusky shadows of the wet night, her eyes gleamed with compassion. “Great,” she said, jokingly. “I put make-up on for the first time since you called, and not only does it rain but you’re crying, too. Thanks a lot, Spike.”
His lips twitched. “You could look like Rocky the Raccoon and still be the most beautiful thing in the room, pet.”
This time, she looked like she really might cry, and she turned away to hide her face from him, gesturing vaguely back to the main street. “We’re not far from my place,” she said. “If we’re lucky, it might even stop---.”
Her words were quelled by his sudden hug. It was awkward with her body angled sideways, but Spike didn’t care, his arms wrapping around her slim body to crush her against his chest. Buffy twisted within seconds, and though his muscles tensed, prepared for her flight, she chose instead to slide her arms beneath his coat and hold him just as tightly back.
He buried his nose in her damp hair, inhaling her shampoo and the lingering musk of her perfume. After hours had passed and stories had been told, he had no doubt there would be arguments about why it had taken him so long to talk to her and did he really think he could just waltz back into her life and pick up where they had left off. There would likely be other, less logical things for Buffy to throw in his face as well, but Spike was prepared to answer for all of it. Now, though, they both needed their moment of solace.
She whispered in his ear. He had to squeeze his eyes shut to block the fresh round of tears.
“It’s OK, Spike. You’re home now.”
As they headed back to the main road, arms entwined around the other’s body like couples out of old French movies, Spike blocked out the scents of the city around him and focused on her instead. Italian rain still smelled different.
But Buffy would forever smell the same.