|Three is a Crowd
Author: Nals PM
It's boring in Radiator Springs. Lightning pitches in when he has to. Sally works as motel manager and as an attorney. Marlene comes over when she can. Visitors come and go. That's all the excitement there is these days. But when a known outside party visits, love stories are hotter, and it's not just in bed. May contain suggestions.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Lightning & Sally - Chapters: 20 - Words: 40,414 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 06-11-12 - Published: 05-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8148910
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Mere, here's the epilogue you were talking about. Hehe~ Maybe you read so fast, like me. xD And also, you better see for yourself on that ending. :)
anon is up early. xD D: You left me alone~ *foreveralone* Naw, that's fine, and thanks for that; I didn't exactly know what to come up with Lightning and Sally anymore because there was so much description and…I hate my crap. :/ But whatever; this story has been resolved before school started. xD ^-^
As usual, I included Marlesco in here because I can't write much SalQueen; it's supposed to be an epilogue! D8 . I think I'll retire for a while, but there's very little chance of that. xD
Finished in only 18 days? O.o With college reviews in between? o.O That's awesome, don't you guys think? xD
Sally sighed contentedly as she settled on one of the leather couches of Flo's V8 Café, Lightning sitting beside her. She felt older, but oddly the same as she did before. She and Lightning were roughly alone; there were very few people today, despite everything. Maybe it was because they had announced the services of the town wouldn't be open for a few days, except to those who had reserved rooms that day and those who were staying at the motels. Most of the lights at the café were off to give the couples in the store a romantic setting, even if it was just a diner, because the way the golden light of the setting sun crossed the big windows of the café from the west was breathtaking.
At Lightning's plead, she had turned down work not only today, but for a whole two weeks, starting from the day they were engaged. It was miraculous, how much of the day she hadn't realized she was missing, and how much had happened in only a month.
She looked up from his shoulder to find Lightning asleep. He, of course, had taken most of the whole shebang onto his shoulders. She lovingly kissed his lips, and he moaned softly as his lips moved with hers.
"Mm, I love you," he murmured at the first lift of her lips from his.
"I love you too," she replied as softly.
"Guys, the kids are staring," a voice murmured, and the newlyweds parted, cheeks burning with embarrassment.
"Sorry," they said in unison, and they chuckled slightly at the synchronization.
"Well, no harm done, I suppose," the voice spoke, and the two found Marlene standing there, smiling down at them. "Want me to join you?"
Lightning chuckled. "I suppose you can keep us in check."
She chortled slightly, and settled down in the seats in front of them, her legs outward as her body faced the west. She rubbed her arm slightly, staring wistfully up at the ceiling. "He liked it here, you know, just sitting here and drinking coffee and just…talking." She winced, like someone just pinched her.
"You miss Francesco, don't you?" Sally murmured.
Marlene only nodded. "It's hard, you know, with a long-distance relationship." She paused, and the sunset's orange light seemed to reveal the shine in her sad green eyes. She sighed then.
"You really do love him, don't you?" Lightning whispered.
She nodded, and narrowed her eyes as she looked to the sunset. "It wasn't easy, you know, after his stay ended."
Lightning noticed only now his much his best friend valued his rival. But at that moment, and in various moments spread along the course of the year so far, he didn't consider Francesco as his rival, but as his best man, his friend, and his best friend's love.
"So, don't you both want a honeymoon? You know, go out and see the world?" Marlene asked, forcing a smile.
"Technically yes," Lightning said, "but what was the use, considering that there would be no other place in the world we'd be than in each other's arms?"
Sally blushed and chuckled, and Marlene sort of did so, too. "But he has a point," Sally said.
Marlene only nodded, pursing her lips slightly. "Maybe."
It was quiet for a while. Lightning watched most of the customers—who weren't many—leave the café to possibly check out a few tourist spots at Carburetor Canyon. Sally didn't really pay attention to anything in particular. But soon, thoughts wandered back to the superstar. "So, how's Francesco doing?" Sally asked out of curiosity.
"He's fine, I suppose," she told them. "Usually he talks to me once every two days or so, three if there's a race. But lately he's been silent as night, and I'm getting worried." She swallowed, and her gaze turned from sad to alarmed. "What if he's found someone else and doesn't want to have to do anything with me anymore?" The words tumbled out in a flurry, but Lightning knew she was worrying so much by the sound of that 'What if'. Not to his surprise, she continued. "What if he's forgotten about me? What if his mother doesn't approve of me anymore because I can't go to Italy to see him? What if—"
"Marlene, cut it out!" Lightning snapped fiercely. "Francesco loves you. I know him to be a man of his word, despite him being a superstar and all that crap. So, just because he hasn't called in a few days, don't say he doesn't love you."
"Who doesn't love who?" a voice called gently, yet loud enough for the trio to hear.
Marlene jumped up before she could even think it, and Francesco staggered back a few steps as he pressed his lips to hers, his arms around her tightly.
"Guys, the kids are staring," Lightning called as gently after a few moments, but the two didn't seem to hear. He sighed. "I hate it when they don't listen to me."
Sally chuckled. "They'll come around," she told him. "No one's here, anyway."
Lightning rolled his eyes, and watched his best friend and his best man like a movie scene. "Maybe we should break out the popcorn," he murmured, and Sally smacked him on the upper arm. He laughed softly, and held Sally close. "I remember when we were that young and naive," he told her gently.
She looked at him. "Are we still that way?"
The corner of his lips twitched. "Maybe; we have all night, as usual."
"Maybe," she agreed smilingly.
Lightning sighed. He didn't need anything else in this world to make him happy. Well, maybe he can't escape from the reality of life, like work and all that crap, but to keep him happy, he didn't need a vacation away from home. All he needed was Sally Carrera—no, wait, strike that—he needed Sally Carrera-McQueen.
It was a wonderful August 2012 evening. A woman in the last year of her twenties waited patiently in a secluded booth, elbows on the table, her fingers laced together. And then, her friends had arrived.
"Hiya, Marlene," the twins greeted in unison.
"Guys," she called as she kissed her adopted sisters' cheeks, and hid her hands under the table. "How are you doing?"
"Loving promotion!" Tia squeaked. "We own the place now!"
"But we didn't change it because it wouldn't be Flo's. It wouldn't be Radiator Springs anymore if we changed it," Mia informed. She sighed. "We miss Flo telling us to do stuff."
Marlene only nodded. The older woman had retired early, but nonetheless, Flo arrived everyday to see to the twins' progress, and pitch in when she can. The sisters hired a few waiters and waitresses, and things flowed smoother than before.
"Do we still have to wait for the McQueens?" Tia asked, cocking her head to the side.
"You know we have to," Marlene said.
"Oop, there they are," Mia told them, and waved at the three-month-old couple.
"Hey, guys," Lightning called, and the McQueens sat by the twins. "What's up?"
"How's married life for you, Sally?" Marlene started off smilingly.
"Er, fine," she replied awkwardly. Why would Marlene ask this kind of question? "Why?"
Marlene shook her head, face now partly serious. "No reason," she said, "but I'd like to know: is it hard to be Lightning's wife, considering him being the greatest racer in America?"
Lightning was flattered, but noted that his best friend-girl said, greatest racer in America. What was she hinting at?
"Well, it's awkward and frustrating at times," Sally replied, "but it can be fun."
Marlene only nodded as she smiled thoughtfully at Sally.
"Why are you asking me things, Marlene?" Sally blurted out. "Sorry, but I have to know."
This time, she lifted her hands, and interlocked her fingers while settling her elbows on the tabletop. "Well, maybe the answer's right in front of you," she said slyly.
All four from her audience wondered what she meant, and stared at her continuously, bewildered.
The journalist only grinned. "Seen it yet?"
The sisters cocked their heads to the side slightly. Sally raised a brow. "What is it?" Lightning prodded.
Marlene only rolled her eyes as Francesco appeared, his smiling face looking down at Marlene's as he settled by her.
"Have you broken the news to them yet?" he asked lovingly as he put his arm around her.
"They don't seem to get the message." She bowed her hands slightly.
The movement made the four stare down at the ring that was, right in front of them, on her left ring finger. A small gem of precious topaz with a princess cut lay around a simple band of gold.
Oh, no, not again! Sally leaned over the top of the bowl, and more than three mouthfuls of bile came surging up her esophagus.
It had been nearly five months into their new marital status, and she was getting sick. Her stomach rumbled and snapped as her belly clenched, and a mouthful of bile rose from her throat.
Lightning sighed. He remembered that night nearly a year ago, when he'd wished she'd be by his side when he crouched over the porcelain bowl. Now it was reversed: he was the one standing there, holding her hair up helplessly.
"What did you eat?" Lightning had growled at her earlier.
"Not…nothing!" she told him as she shivered, retching again. "I don't know, Lightning."
He sighed again. They didn't know what was wrong with her, and he was getting stressed out. It was the fifth day of this craziness, and he didn't know what to do.
"Sally…maybe we should go see a doctor," he told her as she brushed her teeth.
He shook his head in the mirror. "No more if's, but's or any other excuse," he said sternly. "I want you to go to a doctor."
"I don't have to," she told him, and she sat on the bed. She pat the spot beside her, and she took his hands in hers. "Lightning," she told him slowly, "I'm…I'm pregnant."
Bwaaa, surprise! 8D Did that leave you guys hanging? Well, I don't know when I'm going to put up a pregnancy story, because I actually quit Life in the Fast Lane, and now I'm just playing around with you guys. xD Beg me for a sequel, Mere? I expect you will. :)