Hi Everyone! I got the idea for this story the other night and immediately sat down and wrote the first chapter. I'm going to start posting these stories on my tumblr (jacks-a-million dot tumblr dot com) also so please give me a follow there as well! I am planning on posting my own ending to one of my favorite T70S fan fiction on there so if you wanna see that it will be coming soon!
Let me know what you think of the story! Also more of "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been" is on its way too! :)
Chapter 1: Weekend with Red
Eric slowly pulled into the driveway of his childhood home. Even though it had been years since he traded in the Vista Cruiser for the minivan, it always felt weird to see it missing from its spot in front of the garage under the basketball hoop.
In all those years, Kitty and Red has changed very little about their quaint Point Place home. The shag carpeting had been replaced and a shiny new car Red had bought when he retired sat in the garage. His parents had also bought a new TV and some kitchen appliances, but the shades of mod remained intact as well as small remnants of Eric's formative years. The basement remained fairly untouched along with his room. His old bed had been replaced with bunk beds, which Kitty said made more sense for when her grandkids came to visit. Despite Red's displeasure over having a new set of children running amuck through his house, her grandchildren were over often.
Before Eric could even put the car in park, his two kids opened the sliding door of the car, hopped out, and ran inside to see their grandparents and find whatever treats Kitty had made for them. Eric looked inside the kitchen sliding door to see his brother had already arrived and made himself at home in his old seat at the nook table. Eric rubbed the back of his neck as he headed inside, curious what the next few days would bring.
Somehow Red had gotten the idea that the he and the boys should take their kids camping. Eric couldn't wrap his mind around why Red would not only willingly but come up with the plan on his own to take his sons and their kids into the woods for the weekend. But Hyde and Eric had agreed immediately and felt it would be in their best interests to not ask any questions.
Hyde swiveled in his seat when he heard the sliding door open.
"Hey man, have any idea what the whole weekends about yet?"
"Honestly Hyde... no fucking clue. The kids are really excited though."
"Yep, same here. These bozos have been sleeping on the floor in their sleeping bags all week."
They shared a chuckle and couldn't stop smiling as they heard Kitty in the living room begin a lecture on safety and listening to the adults on the camping trip.
Hyde and Eric made their way into the living room to find five kids seated on the couch, listening intently to their grandmother. The kids were used to Kitty's long lectures about everything from eating enough food to playing safely outside and always listening to their moms. The five were staggered perfectly in age and it seemed like for about five years there was always a new baby and pregnant wife at either Eric or Hyde's homes.
Eric wrapped his arm around his mother's shoulders as he pulled her in for a hug,
"Alright mom, I think we better get going. I promise the kids will be on their best behavior. Where's dad at?"
"Oh Eric! You know me I just can't help but worry about all my grandbabies! Your father is down in the basement. I made him put all the camping equipment down there and out of my kitchen!"
"Okay I better see five butts heading downstairs to help Red in 5...4...3...2..."
By the time Hyde was done counting five heads had flew past him, leaving the three adults to hear the very familiar sound of pounding feet flying down the basement stairs.
"Mom, why does dad want to go on this trip? It's very unlike Red. We aren't hunting, are we?! Because I don't think that's a good idea!"
"Why Forman? You still scared to off Bambi's daddy?" Hyde chuckled as he smacked Eric on the back.
Eric's face twitched from annoyed to stern, "ummm no Hyde I just personally don't want one of your moron kids to shoot one of mine."
"Okay boys that is quite enough. Your father is not planning on hunting this is just a camping trip! It will be fun!"
"Yeah... but why Ms. Forman?"
While Hyde considered his adoptive mom his mom, he still couldn't get to the point of calling her that. Kitty could count on her hands the times Hyde had actually let the word "mom" slip by his lips.
"Well I don't know boys... guess you'll just have to find out." Kitty's face avoided the stares of her two sons as she rushed back into the kitchen to make sandwiches for their drive.
Eric and Hyde looked at each other, "Man! She totally knows!" Eric whined.
"Yeah, no shit Forman, she's probably behind it. Remember the last time we went out in the woods? She wanted Red and you to 'bond'"
Half an hour later, Red, Eric, Hyde, and all five kids were just finishing packing up the two vehicles when a large SUV pulled into the driveway.
"You've got to be kidding me?! Did someone invite that dumbass?" Red's face became visibly annoyed as Michael Kelso and his four teenage daughters tumbled out of the vehicle.
"Mr. Forman I am just SO excited about this trip!" Kelso yelled as he grabbed his two nearest daughters to embrace them in a hug.
"Kelso what the hell are you doing here?"
"Well I stopped by and had lunch the other day when I was out ummm patrolling the neighborhood on my shift and Ms. Forman told me y'all were taking the kids on a camping trip this weekend."
Eric looked back and forth between his dad, Kelso, and Hyde trying to figure out how to tactically address the fact that the Kelso Family had not been invited. While he didn't give a shit about saying something to Michael, he didn't want any of the girls to feel bad. Hyde on the other hand, as usual, didn't give a crap about making anyone feel bad.
"Kelso, Red has never invited you to anything if your life, what the hell made you think he was starting now?"
"Okay, you know just listen"
Kelso grabbed the men and dragged them into the open garage out of earshot
"I have FOUR teenage daughters. They never want to spend time with me anymore, Betsy has some dumb boyfriend, and the other three are constantly getting phone calls from boys. I need to spend time with my girls AWAY from every teenage creep in this town. We are coming on this trip and that's final."
Red coughed uncomfortably "well...fine"
He looked back over to the four teenage girls standing in his driveway and then shoved his pointer finger in Kelso's face.
"But I just want you to know this is payback for every time I caught you with my daughter."
Eric looked over at his four nieces: Betsy, Bonnie, Brittany, and Bethany. All four were a perfect mix of their gorgeous parents. Tall, thin, glossy brown hair, tan skin, shining smiles. Michael had every reason to be worried if the boys today were anything like him and his friends had been when they were teenagers.
By noon, all three cars were loaded up with kids and camping equipment. Kitty stood waving in the driveway as the cars pulled out. Hyde spent the ride playing his three kids the music he thought was worth a damn while they munched on chips and sandwiches Kitty had packed for them. Red spent the drive telling his grandkids stories from the war as Eric drove and attempted to mentally file away everything he was hearing. He had realized that he had heard these stories a million times but had rarely cared enough to pay attention and remember them. Someday, Red and Kitty wouldn't be around, and he would have grandkids of his own. He wanted to be able to tell them about their great grandpa and how brave he was killing all those commies. The last car in the caravan was filled with four miserable teenage girls as their dad blabbed about all the fun they would have. Betsy stared out the window of the front passenger seat, dreaming of her boyfriend who she wouldn't be able to see all weekend. She couldn't believe how selfish her dad was being! Didn't he understand true love?!