Author: Renee-chan PM
Fourth in the "Where Do I Go?" set -- The long-awaited premiere of Jeanie's musical is fast approaching. Everything finally seems to be going smoothly, but nothing is ever really as simple as it appears... is it? Claude/Berger, AURated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Chapters: 6 - Words: 46,080 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 05-04-10 - Published: 04-23-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5919403
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I can't believe I wrote almost 9000 words today. O_O My G-d... no wonder I'm tired. ^_^
Fandom: Hair, the musical: 2009 Revival
Pairing: Claude/Berger, Dionne/Hud, Cloud/Zack... and beyond that, I'm not telling. ^_~
Word Count: Total -- 35,821; And oh, goodness... these did not break evenly. Shortest part is this one, at about 5600 words. Longest part is about 8700 and they range everywhere in between. O_O Sorry...
Warnings: Slash. Not mine. Don't sue.
Disclaimer: Neither the musical nor the boys belong to me, if they did they'd be groping each other on sta--. *pause* *blinkblink* Huh. Look at that... they do. *eg* :D ((*coughs* For the record, "Hair" was written in 1967 by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and with music by Galt MacDermot... not in 1985 by Jeanie Ryan. Thank you very much.))
Summary: Fourth in the Where Do I Go? set -- The long-awaited premiere of Jeanie's musical is fast approaching. Everything finally seems to be going smoothly, but nothing is ever really as simple as it appears... is it?
April 23, 2010: Well... I've sure kept you waiting for this one long enough, haven't I? *sheepish grin* This one gave me a lot of trouble, I must say. I think it was because it started feeling like this was the last piece to this "present" arc. Rest assured, though... I created a hell of a lot of loose ends with this one, so there's a lot more story to tell. ^_~
Hair, Part 1
Sheila folded another shirt and tried to ignore the wide, pleading eyes staring her down from across the room. It had been easy to put the girl off last time she'd gone to New York -- it had been the middle of a school year and it was understood that she was not going to pull her offspring out of classes for a weekend jaunt up to Manhattan. This time, however, she had no such ready excuse. Schools had let out a month and a half ago and didn't start again for another few weeks. Wearily, she raised her head to meet the bright blue eyes of her eldest daughter. She sighed, "You really want to go, don't you?"
Hope started waging a war against the disappointment in her daughter's gaze. She clasped her hands together and nodded earnestly, "So much, Mom!"
It was almost over the top, that wide-eyed innocence, and Sheila really didn't want to get suckered into buying it... but she knew her daughter's desire to go to New York was real enough, even if she was overplaying it. Letting out another sigh, Sheila put a hand to her head, just certain she was going to regret this, "Pack enough for a week, at least three outfits appropriate for a nice dinner, nothing ripped or frayed -- for that matter, nothing you wouldn't wear to your grandmother's." The girl looked like she might protest and Sheila ran right over her, "Those are the conditions. If you don't like them, you don't have to go."
This time she did wail, "But, Mom! That eliminates most of my wardrobe!"
Really, only a teenager could turn the worm "mom" into a three syllable word... all of them four letters. Sheila frowned, "What about your school clothes? Those would be appropriate, I should think."
Throwing her hands in the air, her daughter made a disgusted noise, "I hit a growth spurt this month and outgrew a lot of it. Besides, Mom... it's New York. I'll get laughed at if I wear that stuff!"
Seeing the near desperation in her daughter's eyes and suddenly remembering herself at that age, Sheila ruefully shook her head, "All right, all right. Calm down. Why don't you pick out the three nice outfits, then we'll take a look at the rest of your wardrobe and see if we can reach a compromise. If we can't, we'll go shopping and buy you some new outfits. How does that sound?"
Her daughter looked like she might protest again, but seeing that unyielding steel in her mother's eyes and recognizing when pushing further would only make her lose more ground, she subsided and gave her mother a miserable nod, "Just great, Mom."
The sarcasm was so thick in those words that Sheila could have sliced it and spread it on bread. Good Lord, the girl had been bad enough before hitting adolescence. G-d help them all when she hit the full stride of her teenaged years... Raising an eyebrow as the girl started to walk past her, she said, "Say 'Thank you,' Clara."
The girl whipped around so fast her thick braid of black hair almost smacked her mother in the face. With an irritated scowl, she snarled out, "I told you, it's 'Georgie,' now." Then when she reached the door she paused, and almost as an afterthought, ground out, "Thanks."
Sheila let her posture fall into a slouch as she rested her hip against the bed. A deep, rumbling laugh from the bedroom doorway caused her to look up and sigh. Stepping away from the doorframe, her husband crossed the room and pulled her into a gentle embrace, "That didn't sound pleasant. Did you tell her she couldn't come with you, again?"
Pressing her face into her husband's chest, Sheila shook her head, "You'd think so from that reaction, wouldn't you? No... I told her she could come."
Bradley blinked at her, then said, "Well.... huh. Then wouldn't beaming excitement and profuse thanks be the more appropriate reaction?"
Laughingly shoving at her husband's shoulder, Sheila stepped out of his embrace, "You expect anything that Miss Clara Georgina Kendall does to make sense? She's a teenager and she's too smart for her own good." With a snort, Sheila turned back to her packing, "I swear she's been worse since she turned fourteen."
Stepping up behind her, Brad wrapped his arms around her again, "So what you're saying is that she's becoming far too much like her mother?"
That comment earned him an elbow to the ribs, "Watch it, mister. Just because I love you doesn't mean I won't leave her behind with you." Turning slightly, she caught her husband's gaze in her periphery, "Besides, she really get along so well with me these days. Maybe that might be for the best..."
Smart man that he was, Brad held his hands up and shook his head quickly, "Oh no. You are not leaving her with me after telling her she can go with you. No way. I'd rather face a horde of sign-waving, liberal Democrats."
Sheila make a scoffing noise, "You know... for a silver-tongued politician, you make enough social gaffes at home to fill a warehouse. Do keep in mind that you married one of those sign-waving, liberal Democrats, though goodness only knows why."
The silence that abruptly fell behind her caused Sheila to turn and raise an eyebrow. Brad was standing there, tapping a finger against his chin. Finally he shrugged and commented philosophically, "It seemed like a good idea at the time?"
Before Sheila could ready her next salvo, her daughter stepped -- or rather, stomped would be a more appropriate term -- back into the room, "My clothes are laid out, oh powerful fashion Nazi. Would you care to inspect them, now?"
Brad frowned, "Clara..."
Rounding on her father, she stamped a foot, "How many times do I have to tell you guys? It's Georgie! It's been Georgie for months. My friends all get it. Jenny and Ben don't seem to have a problem either -- and neither one of them is even 10, yet! Why can't you both keep it straight?"
Seeing that Brad was a half-step away from being pushed into grounding their eldest child for disrespect and not wanting to deal with this argument -- again -- the day before she left for New York, Sheila put a hand on each of their shoulders, "That's enough! Both of you!" Once she had their attention, she continued, "Brad, now is not the time to discuss it, but our daughter has the right to use whichever part of her name she sees fit. We may have given it to her, but it's hers, now, to do with as she likes." Ignoring his spluttering protests, Sheila turned to her daughter and gave her a stern frown, "As for you, Clara Georgina, you will remember that we are your parents and we did give you that name... and thus we can call you by any part of it that we see fit. Is that understood?"
When both parties looked away and took on annoyed sulks, Sheila considered her job done. Patting her daughter on the shoulder, she gentled her voice, "Why don't you go to your room and wait for me? I'll be along in a minute."
Gaze and spirits lifting, her daughter's eyes took on a wicked gleam, "Are you and Dad gonna--"
Brad lifted a hand, pointed at the door and roared, "Out, Clara! Now!"
Raising her hands in mock defense, the girl make an exaggeration of sneaking out the door, "OK, OK... sheesh. Forget I asked..."
Once she was gone, it was all Sheila could do to hold in the giggles. Really... the girl was a bit much sometimes, but she couldn't help but love her all the more for it. She was just drawn to those trouble-making types. It was what had initially drawn her to Berger all those years ago. A warm glow filled her at that thought. It had been so long since thoughts of her youth hadn't brought her pain... the joy and novelty of it hadn't yet worn off, even a year later.
Somewhere above her, her husband grumped out, "It's not funny."
Raising laughing blue eyes to meet those of her husband, Sheila let her smile spread wide, "Oh, yes... it actually is, Brad." Twining her arms around her husband's neck and planting a small kiss on his frowning lips, Sheila added, "It's such a small thing, Brad... Can't you just run with it until she grows out of it?"
Sighing, he pulled her up against him, "But Sheila... Do you know how it sounds to introduce my daughter as 'Georgie?' My mother and father will have conniptions when they find out. You know they will. I'd be willing to compromise on 'Gina' if 'Clara' no longer suits, but she isn't willing to see reason."
Shaking her head, Sheila said, "It isn't about finding a name that is socially acceptable." She leaned up and pressed her forehead to his, "Brad... it's about letting her know that we'll accept her no matter what. It's about letting her feel safe about engaging in this small act of rebellion, now... so she won't feel the need to indulge in a bigger one, later."
Brad pulled his head back and scoffed, "What do you think she'd going to do? Drop out of school? Start doing drugs? Commit acts of political terrorism?"
Face paling slightly, Sheila stepped away from her husband, "Bradley, I think sometimes you forget my background. I and my friends did all of those things and my blood runs through her veins. So, yes... that's exactly what I'm afraid of. Is letting her pick her own nickname really so awful in comparison?"
Sheila allowed him a moment of silence to collect his thoughts, then turned back to face him and raised an eyebrow. He sighed, "No... you're right, Sheila. I... I'll try."
Finally relaxing into a smile, Sheila stepped back into her husband's arms, "And while we're away this week, I'll talk to her about at least using 'Clara' around your family in the hopes of not getting you in trouble, all right?"
Smiling along with her, Brad tightened his arms around her, "You've got yourself a deal, my lovely Left-Wing Activist."
Sheila delicately lifted her nose into the air and sniffed, "That's lobbyist, dear. The word 'activist' has such bad connotations these days."
With a laughing growl, he then bent her backwards and proceeded to do exactly what his daughter had accused him of wanting to do.
Sheila stared at the girl sitting across from her and sighed. Georgie had been staring out that window with her headphones jammed over her ears for the last two hours, ever since they'd gotten settled on the train. With as desperate as she'd been to go on this trip, Sheila thought she'd have acted a little happier about the actuality of getting to go. But, no. Why should it be that easy? Hell, she'd even caved in on allowing her to bring some of her more... interesting... outfits. She just didn't understand it.
Thirty minutes later, finally having enough of the silence and knowing they needed to talk before they arrived at Penn Station, Sheila leaned forward and tapped her daughter on the knee. Georgie's eyes slid sideways from the window to glance at her mother, then rolled and returned to gazing out at the scenery.
Sheila's eyes flashed and she reached out to tap her daughter again. This time, Georgie turned to meet her gaze fully before giving her attention back to the window.
Damn it all to Hell! Sheila started to silently fume, I have had enough of teenage melodramatics. I sincerely hope that Jenny isn't this bad when she reaches her teens. If she is, I'll never survive it. Knowing that what she was about to do would provoke a less than positive reaction, Sheila reached out and plucked the headphones from her daughter's ears.
Now it was Georgie's turn for her eyes to flash in anger as she reached to take back her headphones. Sheila just held up a finger and shook her head, "Young lady, you can talk to me now and then get these back for the rest of the ride or you can forfeit them for the rest of the trip. Your choice."
Grumbling, her daughter slouched down in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest, "Fine. What do you want to talk about, Mom?"
Sheila could feel a sure headache coming on but refused to raise a hand to rub at her temples. Rule number one: don't show weakness in front of an enemy. She didn't like to think of her daughter in those terms, but during these brief dominance clashes they'd been having more and more frequently, she sure as hell felt like she should. Finally she sighed, "I just want to know what has you in such a bad mood, Georgie. I agreed to let you come with me. I even agreed to let you bring most of the clothes you wanted. So, what is the problem?"
She didn't think it was possible for her daughter to slouch any further than she already had without falling off the seat, but somehow she did. Her answer, when it finally came, was mumbled, "It's not you." Taking a deep breath, she looked up and met her mother's eyes, her own shining with misery, "I'm still mad at Dad."
This time Sheila did lift a hand to rub at her head, "This is about your name again, isn't it?"
Georgie pushed herself back up on the seat, "The name is a symbol, Mom. And like everything else, it's like he doesn't get it. No... it's worse. It's like he doesn't even want to try. He just wants me to be this picture-perfect debutante of a daughter... and that isn't me, Mom. A 'Clara' likes dressing up in those ridiculous, frilly dresses. 'Georgie' prefers her old, ripped jeans. A 'Clara' would like going to those big parties that Grandmother and Grandfather hold. 'Georgie' would rather go to a Motley Crue concert. A 'Clara' would be thrilled to be swept off her feet by some dashing, well-connected, young Republican and settle down into the life of a politician's wife where she'll be pampered and taken care of and never do anything of more substance than invite the right ladies to tea." Slightly out of breath and eyes blazing, Georgie leaned forward and said earnestly, "I want something different... I want something more. That's why I can't be a 'Clara' anymore... That's why I need to be a 'Georgie'."
Looking into the bright blue eyes of her daughter, so filled with vibrant passion, Sheila felt the flash of a kindred spirit. How well she understood what Georgie was saying... G-d, how she understood it. It was like looking at herself twenty years ago. And yet... in a way, it wasn't like that at all. Sheila's passion, her rebellion, had always had a purpose. She was always fighting for something. Georgie... she was all over the place. A rebel without a cause.
It pained her, sometimes, watching her daughter struggle. She knew the girl didn't quite fit -- not with the family, not with her school, not even among her friends. Maybe that was just her age, or lack thereof, speaking. Maybe it was lack of experience in the world. It was hard to say. But Sheila got the constant impression, watching her daughter, that it was like she was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. She couldn't change herself to fit the surroundings -- it would kill something inside her to try -- but she'd finally clued in to the idea that she could change the surroundings to fit herself. And that was the key to why she was so desperate to change her name... and why she was so desperate to go to New York. Sheila had the distinct feeling that Georgie had latched on to the idea that those might be the surroundings where she finally would fit. She almost hoped so... because these days, she felt like her daughter was drifting away and becoming more and more incomprehensible. In a lot of ways, it was starting to feel like those last few years she'd spent with Berger, when there had been this gaping chasm between them that she couldn't bridge without Claude. Only... there was no Claude here to help her bridge the distance. There was only her. And just like before, she knew she wasn't enough... and that thought scared her witless, because she didn't want to lose her daughter the way she'd lost Berger.
Lifting a hand to her daughter's cheek, Sheila gave her an encouraging smile, "I know you do, Georgie. I understand that much, at least. And despite what your father says and thinks, it's your life, sweetie. Like your name, you can do with it what you choose. That may not make things easy between you and your father, but you have to know that you have my support... don't you?"
Georgie gave her a weak smile, "I may not always act like it, Mom, but yeah... I do know that." Making a frustrated noise, she turned to look out the window again. Sheila was ready to cede the conversation as over, when Georgie spoke again, half to herself, "The thing is... I don't know what I do want. I know I don't fit, I know I'm not like other people... but I don't know where to look to find where I should fit. I don't know if there even is anywhere where I'll fit, anywhere where I won't feel like I have to translate myself just to be understood by everyone else. And I get so mad about it, sometimes... I can't help lashing out." Finally, she looked back over to meet Sheila's gaze, blue eyes pleading, "I don't even know why I'm like this, so I don't know what to do to fix it. What do I do, Mom?"
Sheila shifted over onto the other seat and pulled her daughter against her in a gentle embrace, "I wish I had an answer, sweetheart. I really do. Growing up is hard work. All you can do, sometimes, is duck your head down and press on into the wind... and hope there's a sunny day on the other side of the storm."
That last earned her a snort, "Jesus, Mom. You've got a platitude for everything, don't you? Where'd you get that one?"
Giving her daughter a playful shove, Sheila reclaimed her own seat, "I'll have you know that I made it up on the spot. No old Chinese wisdom involved."
Blue eyes dancing as she reached for her headphones, Georgie answered, "Suuuure, Mom. I believe you."
Relinquishing her daughter's headphones, Sheila settled back and opened her book again, "Believe what you like, it's the truth." Giving her daughter one last smile, she added, "Next time you need to talk, Georgie... just talk to me, OK? I can't help you if I don't even know that there's a problem."
Georgie met her eyes for one deeply measuring moment, then nodded and pulled the headphones back over her ears. Sheila sighed as she returned to her book. One week. That should be enough time to fully get to the bottom of what was bothering her daughter. She just prayed that Jeanie didn't have any more surprises planned like she had the last time. No matter how well it had all turned out, Sheila really didn't think her heart was up for that kind of exercise again.
Crissy turned her head and tucked it into Woof's shoulder, trying to hold in her giggles. Really, she shouldn't laugh. It was really understandable... but sometimes Kelly was just too much like an eager puppy dog to not be amused by it. Woof slid his arm out from underneath her head to wrap it around her shoulders and give her a gentle squeeze. Finally getting her laughter under control, Crissy slid her arms around him to return the gesture. She tilted her head upwards to meet Woof's equally laughing hazel eyes and said in a strangled voice, "Does she ever run out of energy?"
Woof let out a small moan and shook his head, "Goodness and light help me, Crissy. No, she doesn't. Thank G-d, Eileen is more sedate or I don't think I'd survive having sole custody of them both."
Unable to keep an entirely straight face, Crissy turned away to find the wayward child again. She had gotten back over to the central arrivals board and was bouncing on her toes, hands clasped behind her and practically vibrating with excitement. Shaking her head, Crissy turned back to look up at Woof, "How the Hell did Claude manage having her in two classes every day?"
Woof gave her one last squeeze before releasing her, face taking on a sheepish look, "Well... he only had her for two classes for one semester... and from what I understand, it wasn't really bad until that last month..."
Crissy lightly socked her friend in the shoulder, "Yeah, right. Did you buy him something nice for all that trouble, at least?"
Eyes widening, Woof said, "But Crissy... you don't buy the teachers presents in high school. That usually stops sometime in middle school."
Expression stretching into a teasing grin, Crissy said, "Uh-huh. I know you better than that. What did you buy him?"
To her everlasting delight, Woof's cheeks stained a light pink at her insistent questions. Crossing his arms over his chest defensively, he answered primly, "I'd rather not say."
Crissy's eyebrows climbed up into her hairline, "I don't suppose that your gift would have anything to do with why we didn't see or hear from him or Berger for two weeks after school let out, would it?"
Woof started to sweat, then finally ducked his head and whispered, "How about we just say that it might have had something to do with it and leave it at that. Please?"
This time Crissy couldn't hold in her laughter, "Oh, Woof! Just tell me that, whatever it was, you didn't have Kelly deliver it at school!"
The blush overtook his entire face and traveled up his ears this time, "Only part of it... and that part was nothing embarrassing, so it's OK." When Crissy opened her mouth to ask another question, Woof ran right over her with a panicked, "Claude was grateful and it seemed like a good idea at the time and Idon'twanttotalkaboutitanymore!"
By then, Woof's raised voice had called Kelly's attention to them and she wandered back over, face filled with mortified curiosity. Inching over to Crissy, she asked quietly, "Aunt Crissy...? What did you do to him? I thought only I made him sound like that..."
Crissy was unable to answer due to the fit of giggles she was currently engaging in. In the quiet recesses of her mind, though, she started plotting how to get the answer she wanted. Woof clearly wasn't going to tell her anything, Claude would be even harder to get an answer out of... but Berger... Berger would be only too happy to share. Evil glint mostly hidden in her eyes, she got herself under control just in time to hear Woof say...
"Don't worry about it, Kelly." Then with inspiration born of desperation, Woof abruptly shifted the topic, "So, is her train still on time?"
Knowing that she'd been brushed off and not any happier about it than usual, Kelly crossed her arms over her chest and assumed a grumpy expression, "Yeah, it's still on time. Should be here in a couple of minutes." Then in the kind of lightning fast mood change that only a female teenager can manage, her eyes brightened again, "Did she really march on Washington, Dad? And did she really get arrested? And did she and Uncle Claude and Uncle Berger really--"
With a pained expression, Woof reached out and planted a hand over his daughter's mouth, "Kelly... there are some questions that one should not ask in the middle of a crowded train station."
Eyes full of stymied mischief, Kelly merely nodded. He could feel the grin behind his hand. Sighing in defeat, he dropped his hand and said, "Yes, she marched on Washington. Yes, she was arrested once. And yes, she and Claude and Berger were once in a relationship together." He didn't want to know if that wasn't the question she'd been planning to ask about the three of them. Kelly was getting to that age when her natural curiosity was starting to extend to questions about sex and Woof found himself dreading the eventual conversation. It wasn't that he was shy about sex. It wasn't even that he was embarrassed to talk to his daughter about it. It was just that she always managed to find some insight, some way of looking at a subject that was so completely skewed from the normal, that he was dreading the kinds of questions she would think of to ask. He'd pondered foisting the responsibility off on Berger more than once. At least the other man would be harder to shock. Only the dread of what Berger might manage to teach his daughter during that discussion kept him from asking the favor.
Kelly laughed, "OK, Dad. I'll stop. I'm just excited! It isn't every day that you get to meet someone who's done so many interesting things in her life, you know."
Crissy snorted, "Dear G-d, Woof. You've created a monster. Sheila will be thrilled." At Woof's raised eyebrow, Crissy elaborated, "You do remember how much she loved to hear herself talk..."
At that, Woof laughed, "And you really think that she'll be able to get a word in edgewise around Kelly?"
"O-ho! That sounds like a challenge to me. You willing to put your money where your mouth is, Woof?" she answered.
Eyes sparking with mischief, Woof loomed over her and smiled, "I'd put Kelly's ability to talk your ear off over Sheila's any day. You are on."
Crissy smirked, "We'll discuss the stakes later, then."
With a wide smile, Woof swept her a bow, "At the lady's pleasure."
Kelly, meanwhile, was staring from one adult to the other with a miffed expression on her face, "I get the distinct impression that I've just been insulted..."
A laughing female voice answered from behind her, "It's been a while, but I'd have to agree... and I don't think you were the only one." Crissy and Woof spun around at the same moment and let out equally happy squeals before burying the newcomer in warm hugs and more than a few kisses. When she finally emerged from underneath the pair, her smile was beaming, "But it's so good to see you guys that I'm willing to overlook it!" Reaching over to give Woof another tight hug, she added, "Woof, I know we didn't always see eye to eye in the past... but I am really glad they found you. I've missed you."
Woof cradled the blond woman close and planted a gentle kiss on top of her head, "I've missed you, too, Sheila. I'm really sorry I fell out of touch."
When Sheila leaned back, her smile was soft and a little sad, "I certainly can't take you to task for that, Woof. You're not the only one who fell out of touch." Pulling the other two adults into another tight embrace, she said fiercely, "But we're not going to let it happen again. Not ever. Right?" Crissy and Woof nodded, eyes determined as they let go.
Once they were apart again, Woof took a minute to take in Sheila's appearance. She really hadn't changed much. Her hair was pulled up into an elegant coif, but it was still that long, golden blond that he remembered. She wore slacks, a tailored blouse and pearl earrings... but he could see a smaller version of her tremendous peace symbol still hanging around her neck. She was different, sure -- they all were -- but in all the ways that counted, she hadn't changed a bit.
And that was when he noticed her... there was a girl, about Kelly's age, standing silent in Sheila's shadow. She wore an old, scuffed pair of Doc Martens, and some decoratively ripped jeans. She had an oversized Quiet Riot t-shirt sliding off one shoulder and a black sweatshirt tied around her waist. Eyes traveling upwards, he took in her somewhat sullen expression, the pair of keen blue eyes that didn't look like they missed much and her veritable mane of curly, black hair. Catching him looking, the girl pulled her headphones down from her ears and smirked, then blew a bubble with her gum right at him. It would be fair to say that Woof liked her on the spot.
Sheila, catching the looks trading back and forth, rolled her eyes heavenward in what was probably a plea for patience. Woof recognized the look -- Kelly made him do it often enough. She then turned to face the two of them and made introductions, "Woof, Crissy, this is my eldest daughter, Cla--" At the sudden flashing anger in the girl's blue eyes, Sheila hastily backpedaled, "Georgie! My daughter, Georgie." Giving the girl a sheepish grin, she added, "Sorry, sorry... I wasn't paying attention, just a slip of the tongue."
The girl rolled her eyes and shrugged, "Yeah, Mom. Whatever." She then indicated the last unintroduced member of their entourage with a flick of her chin, "Who's the chick?"
Sheila's eyes hardened and she turned to her daughter with her hands on her hips, "Are you going out of your way to be obnoxious or is this just going to be your default setting from now on?"
The girl shrugged and Woof caught the glint of mischief in those blue eyes. Oh for goodness' sake... the girl was baiting Sheila deliberately! He'd seen Berger and Claude do it often enough and recognized the signs. She wasn't really upset... she was just trying to make her mother upset! Not sure whether the realization made him want to laugh or hide his head and whimper, Woof stepped in, "Ladies! I believe you're talking about my daughter." He waved Kelly over and the girl flounced up to stand in front of him with a bright smile.
Before Woof could say anything more, Kelly extended her hand to Sheila's daughter and gave her a beaming smile as they shook, "Kelly Donovan, pleasure to meet you, Georgie. You know, that's a really interesting name. Is it short for something?" Eyes flicking down, then back up -- Woof recognized that one, too... Kelly looking for ammunition -- she continued, an almost too-bright smile on her face and a wickedly competitive gleam in her eyes, "Love your shoes, too. Very cool. And I see you like Quiet Riot? I'm more of a Twisted Sister fan, myself, but my dad's got a lot of really neat albums at the store if you want to check it out, later."
Then, without missing a beat or giving the other girl another thought, she turned to Sheila and pounced. Wrapping her arm securely around the older woman's she started to lead her towards the station exit. Woof could just make out her voice as it drifted back through the crowds, "...heard so much about you! Did you really march on Washington? What was it like? Did you meet Martin Luther King, Jr.? And I heard you got arrested! Were you scared in jail? And..."
Woof slowly turned back towards Crissy and lifted an eyebrow. Crissy managed to keep a straight face for all of two seconds before breaking up into laughter. Smiling proudly, Woof said, "As noted, we'll discuss payment later." Then he turned back towards Georgie and let his face fall into an apologetic look, "She... uh... she takes a little getting used to. Sorry about that."
Far from looking upset, however, Sheila's daughter looked... oh dear Lord. He knew that look, too. It was the look that Berger had worn on that night so long ago... the night he'd met Claude. The girl's eyes flashed as she answered, "No sweat. It's all good..." Eyes sliding sideways to meet his, she let her mouth stretch into a gleefully feral grin, "Actually, I think this vacation just got even more interesting... don't you?" Then she lifted her backpack onto her shoulder and sauntered after her mother.
Woof just gaped. Crissy inched around to stand in front of him, eyes wide and a little shell-shocked. Taking in Woof's expression, she stepped close and wrapped her arms around him again, "You know what, Woof? For once... I don't want to know what you just saw."
Shuddering slightly, Woof shook his head, "No, Crissy... you really don't. And I'm going to forget I saw it. There are some things that a father just isn't meant to know." And with that last cryptic statement, he gathered up the pair's last two bags and followed the others towards the exit.
No chibi-silliness, too tired... and in too much of a rush. :-P
Questions, comments, asparagus?
Coming Soon: Jeanie ropes everyone she can into helping prepare for the evening's party, wanting everything to be spot-on perfect and not caring who she exhausts in the process. Then everyone finally arrives... and general chaos ensues.