Author: Aqua279 PM
Everyone's lives after the Reckoning. Starts when Derek, Simon, Tori, and Rae are 18, and Chloe's almost eighteen. Chlerek, Simon and an OC, Tori and an OC later .Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chloe S. & Derek S. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 33,722 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 64 - Follows: 67 - Updated: 02-08-12 - Published: 09-25-10 - id: 6350948
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thanks for reading! Hopefully I'll be able to finish- I mean, I've written the whole story out, so updates will be quick! Hope you like it!
"You're what?" Aunt Lauren asked flatly. Derek and Chloe had gotten Aunt Lauren, her boyfriend, Peter, Kit, Simon, Tori,- recently found- Rae, and her mother to sit in Kit's living room. Chloe lived across the street with Peter, Lauren, and Tori. Rae and Jacinda lived together down the street. She was 17 (and a half) and Derek was 18 (and a half).
"I heard you!" She jumped to her feet, eyes narrowed dangerously. "Chloe you're- you're seventeen!" Chloe raised her chin.
"I don't care." Lauren looked at Kit for help.
"You are both still young..." he said slowly. Derek looked down slowly, swallowing.
"I'm eighteen." He said softly. "And I can move out when I want." Kit flinched infinitesimally.
"I know that. But Chloe needs my permission." Lauren said smugly. Chloe paused, thinking how best to deal with this. Tears, or threats? Her eyes filled.
"P-please..." She looked up and her eyes hardened. "It's either I leave with Derek with your permission...or I can always leave when you're not-"
"Chloe!" Peter said. He was a sorcerer, a skilled one. "Chloe, what if-"
"I have a job." Derek murmured. "I have enough money to get an apartment, plus security, plus utilities."
"Plus my job and savings, too." Chloe added.
"I can help if you need it." Simon said helpfully. Lauren glared over at him, but he kept beaming at Derek and Chloe. She squeezed Derek's hand.
"Aunt Lauren." She said, meeting her aunt's eyes, trying to let her know how she felt through them. "Please." Lauren looked away, an angry set to her mouth, arms crossed.
"Condition one- two bedrooms." Chloe cheered, kissed Derek full on the mouth, then threw her arms around her aunt's neck.
"Oh, my God, thank you! Thank you so much!" She squeezed tight, then whispered, "You know I love him, don't you?"
"I might." Lauren replied. "Condition two-" She said, facing Derek now, "Surprise visits are imminent." She sighed. Derek nodded and Chloe could see him trying not to hope. Kit sighed.
"I guess if you're ready..."
"I am." He said, feeling Chloe's eyes on him.
"Then I'll help, too, of course."
Two Days Earlier
"Chloe, let's go for a walk." Derek murmured after dinner. Cheeks heating with anticipation, she smiled.
"A long walk?" He grinned.
"Okay." She followed him out. For the most part, she was always over here. Tori lived with her and Aunt Lauren. Tori still didn't know...well. Derek reached for her hand, hesitated, then grabbed it. She squeezed his fingers.
"Was there a specific reason for this walk or did you just want to get away?" she asked, looking up at him.
"I just...had a question, but I wasn't sure..." he trailed off, still looking out at the back yard. His shoulders hunched a little. "Never mind."
"Derek..." Chloe said softly, stopping. Of course, he walked on about three steps without realizing she'd stopped, tugging her until he noticed the slight resistance.
"Sorry." He said, face going red. How could I possibly think I'm the right one? That I can take care of her?
"What was it you wanted to ask?"
"I'm gonna move out of Dad's house soon." Derek blurted. Chloe stiffened, feeling cold.
"Yeah? That's what people usually do when they turn eighteen." She managed to make herself say. Derek looked at her face, so stricken, and had to ask now.
"When I do, would you move in with me?" Chloe's face twitched, shock, he guessed, and she looked up at him. The stiff shock fell away like melting ice and her face warmed into a huge smile. She threw her arms around his neck (her momentum gave her a little air) and kissed his cheek, the corner of his mouth.
"Are you sure?" She asked. He snorted.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes." They said in unison. Derek leaned his face toward hers, hands on her waist to hold her up, and kissed her lips, slowly. She moved closer (if possible) and opened her lips against his. He inhaled sharply, and put her down gently.
"Not a good idea."
"Cause your aunt's looking for you." She pouted, insistently kissed his mouth, and started toward the house. Then she paused.
"When...are we going to tell them?"
"Tell them- shit." He swore some more, colourfully, then moved his shoulders nervously. "Uh. I dunno. Not today."
"Okay." Chloe sighed. She smiled again, face brightening again. She did an excited little jump, squeezing his arm and hand. "I-"
"Chloe! Hurry up!" Tori called from the back door.
"This..." Chloe trailed off. Two days had passed since they'd told the collective "family". They found an appropriate sized apartment. For now. Lauren, Kit, Tori, and Simon were outside, giving Derek and Chloe time in their new apartment. Derek stood behind her, head angled down, watching her. She turned a slow circle, and when she turned to Derek, he saw the smile, the bright eyes.
"This?" He repeated.
"This is amazing!" She threw herself at him, giggling giddily. The apartment had two bedrooms, a small living room, and a kitchen, a bathroom, and a balcony, all of which needed cleaning and fixing. It was a far cry from her norm, fancy condos or big houses.
"Amazing?" He asked incredulously.
"Derek." She hit his chest. "It's ours." She sighed. "That makes it amazing. Well, t-to me, a-at least." Her eyes slid away. Derek tilted her chin up.
"Me too." He put his lips on hers for a few seconds before pulling away and murmuring, "Amazing."
Then hard work started. Before moving their things in, they had to clean the place. Tori, Rae, and Lauren were shopping for things they'd need but didn't have. Simon, Kit, and Peter were loading a moving truck with both Chloe and Derek's things. So Chloe and Derek had to clean the house themselves. Derek had a bandanna on his forehead, keeping his hair off his face, though his bangs sort of fell over it. Chloe's was in a tight ponytail. Sh e was wearing a tank top (ahh, summer) and shorts; Derek had long since stripped his sweaty t-shirt off.
"Didn't know how hard it'd be, did you?" A girl's voice asked. They looked up. It was their neighbor from across the hall. She smiled, still standing in the door way.
"It's...fun." Chloe said, trying to work the utterly foreign and complicated contraption in front of her.
"I can help. If you'd like." The girl shrugged, her auburn hair shifting.
"Uh...sure." Chloe said, smiling hesitantly. Derek's job was the living room, so he just kept sweeping.
"Good. Now, give me that mop before you hurt yourself. My name is Alyssa Connaway." She was probably Chloe's age, a bit taller.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Chloe, and that's Derek." Derek waved absently, then kept sweeping the dust and dirt and-was that glass?- other debris into a meticulous pile.
"Alright. Now the real work starts."
At noon, Alyssa had to leave for work. By five, Derek had cleaned the bathroom ("Chloe, you are not cleaning that."), put the new carpet that Lauren bought for them down in the living room, and fixed a hole the size of his foot in the wall. Chloe successfully cleaned the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator. They were sweaty, hungry, tired, but couldn't stop grinning at each other.
"Hey! I come bearing dinner!" Rae said, shimmying the door open. "Queen Victoria suggested bringing a table first, but I figured you'd be happy with plastic forks and paper plates." Chloe jumped up to help, but Rae shouldered her away, setting the bags on the counter.
"No problem. Mom's bringing up some drinks, Lauren's bringing up some sleeping bags..." Rae hesitated. "Peter said tomorrow, call us and we can help unpack and bring things up."
"Okay." Chloe said, frowning. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Rae shook her head. Then her face brightened. "I forgot to tell you! I got a job- finally!"
"Some survival class or something. For now I'm an assistant." She shrugged. Jacinda, Rae's mother, came in, then, smiling and carrying a twelve back of Cokes.
"Hey, you two. Cute place." She said, kissing Rae's cheek, then Chloe's. She put the pop by the take out on the counter. "You picked well."
"Thanks. Derek-" She looked around, but he'd moved to the balcony. "H-hang on." She went out by him. "What's w-wrong?"
"Hmm? Nothing." He looked down at her. "I was thinking, that's all. I'll probably get Simon to help me redo the kitchen tiles later. They're coming up. The carpet's down, but I'll check it tomorrow to make sure it stays down."
"What can I do?" She asked, lifting her hands. He frowned, apparently thinking.
"Well, there isn't much left. The windows in the bedrooms are nearly black." He shrugged. She nodded in understanding, then stepped on his foot, hard.
"You jerk! Clean the windows- like I can't- can't like, sand the window frames, or the door frames or something." She huffed. "Might take away your manly responsibilities."
"Wait, Chloe-" he caught her hand as she tried to leave. "I just- I want- I just want to take care of you."
"But I'm not a baby. I want to help too. You don't have to take care of me."
It took another day and a half, but they finally finished and got moved in. Simon, Kit, Tori, and Rae were still there (Tori was setting up a computer for them, Rae was making a grocery list, and Simon was discussing the tiles with Kit and Derek) the night they finished everything.
"I think," Derek said in a loud voice, over everyone else, "Chloe could pick the design she likes and we'll just fix it. Then I'll put a new door knob on her door, because I noticed it's like, falling off." His voice was back to normal at the end, because Kit and Simon had stopped arguing about the design when he'd started.
Kit blinked at his son in shock.
"When did you stop being a teenager?" Derek frowned.
"And start being such a grown man?" he asked, swallowing. He excused himself to the balcony. Simon and Derek looked at each other in confusion. A knock at the door broke the silent "wtf was that about?"s and Derek opened it. Alyssa Connaway was there, holding a box labeled Chloe's Books.
"Hey, this was in the stair way. I figured it was yours..." She blew her bangs out of her face. She was wearing a black waitress's uniform.
"Yeah, thanks." Derek took the box and set it on the kitchen table. When he looked back, Alyssa was staring at Simon...who was staring back. Fighting a smile, Derek said, "Simon, this is our neighbor, Alyssa Connaway. Alyssa, this is my brother, Simon." She blinked, then smiled.
"Nice to meet you, Simon." She shook his hand, then flushed. "I'm sorry- I just got off work. I have to-" She looked at Simon, Derek, then Chloe, before saying, very slowly and deliberately, "I have to change," like she was going to say something else at first. "Um, I'll see you later, I guess."
"Bye." Derek said.
"See you." Simon waved, then swallowed hard as the door shut. Chloe was watching him, too.
"So." She said, smirking."Looks like you should go talk to her.
"What?" Simon asked, turning red. "Nah." Chloe's face turned smug.
"Yes, you have to. Go on, she's nice." She pushed him to the hallway, pointing to her door.
Simon glared at Chloe (and Derek, who was behind her and smiling a little). He shut their door behind him and knocked on 507. Alyssa opened it, her hair in a ponytail now, and a blond fifteen year old with braces was beside her.
"Thanks, Kayla. Tomorrow, same time?" The blond's face cringed.
"Um, actually, Alyssa..." They didn't seem to notice Simon, who was standing awkwardly in the doorway.
"I sort of can't. My mom wants me home tomorrow and Sunday."
"Kayla! Why didn't you tell me earlier? I'll have to find someone to babysi tat the last minute and that's just not going to-"
"I'm sorry, Alyssa! But my mom-"
"Momma..." and there she was. A two-year-old with glass blue eyes, porcelain skin, and auburn hair came out to the door way, clutching a white teddy bear. Alyssa saw Simon and flushed pink, but picked the little girl up.
"It's fine, Kayla. Go home." The girl, red faced, left. "Yes?" Alyssa asked sharply, coldly.
"What's her name?" Simon asked quietly.
"Alaina. Lainey." Alyssa cooed the name, kissing the adorable little girls' face.
"She's cute." She gave Simon a look.
"Ask what?" She huffed a sigh.
"She's two and I'm seventeen. Her dad split after court."
"Ah. I'm sorry." He said honestly. Alyssa's eyes filled suddenly and Simon became quite alarmed, not sure what to do.
"My parents want nothing to do with us." She whispered. "Like it was my fault. The police-" she choked and tried again. "The police even told them that he used Ruffies." Simon touched her shoulder, horrified.
"I could babysit." He blurted. Alyssa eyed him, no longer upset, now wary.
"Uh..." she frowned. "I don't know..." Her gray eyes narrowed. At that moment, Tori came out, wearing her "I'm a nice person, trust me" expression.
"I can baby sit, too. I'll keep an eye on him." She jerked her thumb at Simon. He glowered at her. Alyssa clutched Alaina closer, looking suspiciously at the two strangers.
"Are you...are you brother and sister, too?"
"What?" Simon asked, eyes widening. "No!"
"Sorry, sorry! I just- you sort of looked alike." Alyssa shrugged. "Never mind." The toddler reached for Simon then.
"What's your name?" She asked, blinking innocently.
"My name's Simon. Yours is Alaina?" She nodded.
"Yesh, but Momma calls me Lainey. You can call me Lainey, too."
"You speak very well for a two- for your age."
"She's very smart." Alyssa murmured, watching the exchange. "Alright. I have to go to work at noon tomorrow." She said abruptly. Simon jumped, a little startled, then smiled encouragingly.
"I'll be here."
"Me too." Tori added with a wicked grin.
Derek should've fallen right to sleep, he was so tired. But he didn't. He couldn't, not with Chloe right there. He wanted her here not there. Which was stupid. They'd never slept in a bed together- the only time they'd been alone on his bed was when she needed help with Geometry. Of course, his heart had been hammering, and they kept getting distracted, but they eventually got it done, and it'd felt good to help her.
He flipped onto his back, sighing loudly. He was in his boxers, like usual, but the room was still hot. he moved the blanket off him, grunting in agitation.
"Derek?" The whisper sped his heart up. Chloe knocked on the door. "Are you- asleep?"
"No, come on in." He sat up, not sure what to do with himself since he didn't know what she wanted. "What's up?" Her hair was still wet from her shower about ten minutes ago. The scent of her shampoo was flowery and strong- it had to be, so humans could smell it- but he could smell her scent, too.
"I couldn't sleep." She hesitated in the door way, then closed the door behind her. "Do you mind...if I sleep in here with you?" Despite his shock, Derek found himself easily saying, "sure," and scooting over, lifting the blanket for her. She crawled in and curled on her side. Facing him. She reached out and put her hand on his chest. And fell asleep.
Derek worked construction. He was working for a supernatural who was training him to be an architect, so he worked in the sites. On the weekends, most of them, anyway, he worked in a car garage near their apartment.
"Hey, Souza!" Angelo Villanueva called, waving. "Can you help with these pipes?" Angelo was a fire half-demon, like Rae: Exustio.
"Sure." Derek picked up the four heavy pipes, enjoying the use of his muscles. He carried them to wherever Angelo was leading him, then set them on a shelf.
"How's Chloe?" he asked, cutting the plastic ties holding the pipes together.
"She's...good." Derek replied. Better than good. She was being mentored by a director, getting training and tips from a screenwriter, and IMing a young necromancer a few years older than her almost daily. She came home exhausted but utterly pleased every day.
"Yeah? We haven't seen her in awhile." Angelo said, swearing in Spanish when one pipe fell on his foot. Derek lifted it, then set it against a partially built wall.
"She's been busy. Two...internships, plus a friend of hers has been talking to her all night, almost." He shrugged. "But she's happy, so I'm happy." Angelo squinted up at him, murmured in Spanish, then said, louder, "You really love that girl." Derek flushed and flinched a little. Angelo was a year older than him and had no reason to know who Derek loved or what love looked like.
"Yeah," he said honestly anyway.
"Tell her." Angelo stood. "Okay, boss wants those with the..."
Chloe watched Rae nervously. It was Saturday. Derek was at the garage and would be home in about thirty minutes. He- daily, mind you- made her promise not to touch the stove, the oven, or the laundry. If she was hungry, use the microwave, the phone, or make a sandwich. Rae was there- with Jacinda- to make dinner for them. A text from Derek made Chloe jump.
Um, my friend Angelo is coming over. Then, when she didn't answer right away, he called.
"Villanueva. From the site? You've met." He mumbled something.
"Nothing. Be home soon."
"Kay." She whispered, hitting the end button.
Angelo was a tall nineteen-year-old, with raven black hair, olive-Hispanic skin, and chocolate colored eyes. He had a quick grin and a habit of speaking rapid-fire Spanish when startled or annoyed.
"Who's this?" he asked, seeing Rae. Their eyes met and Chloe knew instantly this was a good idea.
"Hi. I'm Rae." She smiled. "Chloe can't cook, so I"m designated cook. My mom is folding laundry. Chloe can't man the washer, either." Chloe blushed, but Derek put his arm around her, kissing her head.
"She had a sheltered life. And she's learning."
"Hmph." Chloe said smugly, slipping her arm around Derek's waist.
So how'd you like it? Review, please. Chapter two will be up soon, probably. I have it all written out. *proud of self* anyway. Thanks!