Skylar strides through the front door with Bree in her arms. "Welcome to your new-old home, Mrs. Davenport-Storm," she says with a flourish, spinning her wife around.
"Why, thank you, Mrs. Davenport-Storm," Bree answers, giddy.
"Absolutely, Mrs. Davenport-Storm." Skylar leans in and kisses her as Bree's hands twine up around her neck.
"We get it, you're married," Naomi grumbles, stalking through the door with Skylar and Bree's suitcases in tow. "It's getting old."
Bree hops down from Skylar's arms as Skylar asks her, "How did you convince your dad to let us come and live here rent-free, anyway?"
"Oh, I told him I would pay rent and a half," Bree says. "He was gonna do it, too. Then Tasha told him to stop being an assho-" she glances at Naomi- "jerkface, and he caved."
With that, she zooms out to the car to get more of their bags. "So, are you excited to pick out a bedroom?" Skylar asks her new little sister-in-law.
Naomi shrugs. "I guess," she says. "I kind of liked the basement. I had my own mini-fridge down there."
Bree comes back in carrying a duffel bag and a suitcase. "What?" she squawks. "Adam's gonna be furious."
"Naomi, why don't you go get some of your stuff from downstairs?" Skylar says, taking a bag from Bree. "We can start getting settled in." She and Bree head to the car to bring more stuff in while Naomi skips to the elevator and hits the button for the lab.
The familiar hum of the house calms Naomi. It's all new- living with her sister and Skylar, starting high school, living upstairs. She's looking down the barrel at a lot of adjustments.
The basement, at least, is familiar. Her dad's gadgets and gizmos still whirr and blink, and the monitors that line the walls all greet her with their familiar green glow. There are her posters, there are her books, there are her toys- and there, lounging in her beanbag chair, is her cousin Toni.
"Oh, hi," Toni says, not even bothering to look guilty. "You're back! How was Britain?"
Bree, Skylar and Naomi had journeyed to London with Tasha and Donald to see the sights and help them get moved in before coming back to stay in Mission Creek. "British," Naomi says. "What are you doing here?"
Toni shrugs and returns to her comic book. "Sometimes I come hang out here when I'm bored," she says like it's no big deal. "Your dad has the coolest crap."
Naomi scowls and goes to lift Toni out of the beanbag with force. "How do you even get in?" she says, fussing with her cousin, who stubbornly tries to cling to the beanbag chair. "We have the most sophisticated smart home security system on the planet."
"Hi, I'm Toni Dooley," Toni says cheekily, extending a hand. "I thought we'd met."
At that moment, Eddy fizzles to life on a panel in the wall. "Your little devil cousin hacked into my server," he whines to Naomi. "And she got cracker crumbs in one of my USB ports."
Naomi glares at Toni, who goes boneless and sinks back into the beanbag with a triumphant look. "You hacked Eddy?"
"Yeah, but I thought he'd be out of commission for longer," Toni sighs. "I was looking forward to some peace and quiet."
"You can get peace and quiet in your own home," Naomi points out, giving up on removing Toni from the beanbag chair and instead trying to drag her and the beanbag toward the door. "And don't mess with Eddy. He's my friend."
"Yeah, about that, how exactly did you manage to make friends with the most evil smart home security system on the planet?"
She smirks. "Hi, I'm Naomi Davenport. I thought we'd met." Toni rolls her eyes. "I can be friends with anyone. I can be friends with a bear. I can be friends with a cast member from Friends. I can be friends with you, and you're the most stubborn, patience-devouring person I've ever known." Naomi grunts as she tries to drag the beanbag across the floor of the basement. "Get up!"
"Make me," Toni says, arms crossed.
A glint of mischief crosses Naomi's face. "Eddy?" she says. "A little help?"
"Ooh, I was hoping you'd ask," the scheming little emoticon says, and with that, the panel in the floor dissolves and Toni, beanbag and all, drops. "Ta-ta, Toni! See you next fall!"
Peering over the side, Naomi laughs and waves. And then Bree and Skylar walk into the lab. "Hey, whatcha doing?" Bree says.
Naomi immediately straightens up and says, at the same time as Eddy, "Nothin'."
"Uh-huh," Skylar says, quirking an eyebrow up. She steps forward and looks down into the gaping hole in the floor. "Hi, Toni!"
"Hi, Mrs. Davenport-Storm," Toni calls up. "Can you help me up?"
"Oh, right." Skylar jumps down without a second thought and flies back up toting Toni and the beanbag chair. "And you can just call me Skylar."
"Thanks, Skylar," Toni says, looking a little awestruck. "Gotta say, this is still so weird."
"What?" Bree says. "Us being married?"
"No, you being married to a real superhero," Toni says. "Skylar, I've read all your comic books. And now you're gonna be living here all the time? W-o-w. Naomi, you're so lucky."
Bree coughs. "Um, I'm a bionic hero," she reminds the girls.
Toni doesn't look impressed. "Call me when you're in the comics," she says, and flounces off. "Naomi, if you need help packing and unpacking… get someone else."
"Love you too," Naomi says, rolling her eyes as she turns to Bree and Skylar. "Apparently, she hangs out here when no one's home."
"Oh great," Bree says tonelessly. "Crappy security. Just what we need."
"It's just Toni," Skylar says, grabbing the beanbag chair off the floor. "Naomi, you want this upstairs?"
Naomi sighs. "Do I really have to leave the basement?" she says. "This is my room. This is my home."
Skylar looks helplessly to Bree, who steps toward her sister and puts a hand on her shoulder. "Just try a real room for a little bit," she says. "A month. If you decide after that that you want to live back down here, you can. But I really want you to try."
Naomi can tell it might be more for Bree than for her. And she's willing to put up with anything for her big sister. "Okay," she says, smiling a little. "Skylar, can you help me with my bed?"
A/N: Hope you like it so far! This is a continuation of "I Can Hear the Bells" and will (hopefully) be part of a larger series about Bree, Skylar, Naomi, Toni and Toni's mom Aunt Janice (Tasha's sister.) Let me know what you like, what you don't like, what you want to see more of, etc. in the review. Thank you for reading! I'll update with new chapters very soon.