This is the sequel to "Neptune's Ocean." It is set 4 years after that story, right after their graduation from college.
Thanks to all who have encouraged me to write this. I will have to say, this story is really helping me hone my writing skills and I love the fact that so many of you are enjoying the story.
This one, due to being set during their twenties, will have a few more adult scenes to it, so be forewarned. Not NC-17 or anything, but come on, a bunch of twenty-somethings definitely won't be stuck in the holding hands stage…just FYI!
Hugs to all,
And so….Justifying the Means
"Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil."
"The end justifies the means."
-Niccolo MachiavelliChapter 1
"How dare you try to come back after what you've done?" Brittany demanded. "You're nothing but a lying, conniving, filth-eating pig and I want nothing more to do with you!"
"But, honey, I swear-" Alvin's voice was desperate. Brittany didn't let him finish.
"You swear what? That you'll stop cheating on me with every two-bit slut who walks past you? I've heard it all before, sweetheart, and I just don't believe it anymore." Brittany turned her back on him. "I can't believe you would come crawling back again after you left me for that…that….what was her name again? Bunny?"
"Buffy." Alvin corrected, and cringed. "And, really, she didn't mean anything to me. Not like you do." He grabbed her arm, spinning her around so that she was facing him. "Isn't there anything I can do to make you forgive me?"
Brittany smiled at him sweetly. "Yes…you can drop dead and die!" She pushed him away. "I'm done with you, and this time I mean it. You can't treat me like I'm just a piece of garbage that you can throw away whenever you want to."
"Sweetie, darling, you don't mean that…"
"Stop calling me those pet names! You don't have the right anymore. I've half a mind to…" She stalked towards him slowly, her fist raised as if to strike him. Alvin backed away hastily.
"Now, lets not get too angry, now…"Alvin said as he bumped up against the wall. "I promise I'll change, I will…Brittany!" She slapped him full across the face.
"Cut!" The director shouted. He looked at Alvin in exasperation. "It's Brenda, Alvin. You have got to stop using her real name. The character's name is Brenda."
"Sorry." Alvin apologized, rubbing his cheek. He looked at Brittany accusingly. "That really hurt, Brittany."
"Sorry, Alvin." Brittany stood on her toes and kissed his cheek. "Better?"
"A little." Alvin grumbled. "I know we're going for realism, but could you try to hit me a little less harder?"
"I'll try." Brittany looked at him bashfully. "I guess I'm just really getting into the part."
"A little too much, if you ask me."
"Lights, can we reset the scene?" The director called. Alvin looked at the clock worriedly.
"Uh, Mr. Greenfield?" He rushed up to the director after making sure that Brittany wasn't following him. She wasn't – the makeup crew was fixing her slightly mussed eye shadow. "Didn't you notice what time it is?"
"Of course I did, Alvin. We've been here for ten hours." The director said wearily. "But we have to get this take in before-"
"But, Mr. Greenfield…remember the premiere?" Alvin lowered his voice. "I have to get there early to…you know."
Mr. Greenfield's eyes widened. "Oh, I'm sorry, Alvin, I forgot. This take just isn't going well…"He narrowed his eyes. "If you'd just remember who Brittany's character is supposed to be…"
"I'll try harder, really, I will, but we have to be there tonight. I have to get things ready."
The director sighed. "Okay, okay. And don't worry, I already promised you that you and Brittany could have tomorrow off. But after tomorrow, we have got to get this scene finished. We're behind schedule as it is."
"No problem." Alvin assured him, thankful. "Just let Brittany know that I'll meet her there…tell her, uh, that I had to give Simon a hand with Theodore."
Mr. Greenfield sighed. "All right. But this better be some show tonight, Alvin."
Alvin grinned. "Trust me, Mr. Greenfield. It's going to be a show you'll never forget."
"It's about time you got here. We were starting to get worried."
"Sorry, Dave." Alvin said, leaping out of the limo and running into the rented ballroom. "Shooting isn't going well on the film. We kind of lost track of time."
"She should be along in an hour or two. You know how long she takes to get ready." Alvin looked around the ballroom frantically. "Please, please tell me you got the banners up already. I have way to much to-"
"Don't worry, Alvin." Simon's voice came from behind him, and Alvin whirled around. His older brother was carrying a ladder and a roll of masking tape. "I got the banners up already."
Alvin could see that, now that his panic was subsiding. A large banner ran across the stage, proclaiming Congratulations Alvin and Brittany on Your First Duet Album!"
"Perfect!" Alvin exclaimed. Then he frowned. "They couldn't fit the name of the album on it?"
Simon looked at him in frustration. "If we had put Alvin and Brittany – Together Forever at Last and Never Apart Again, we wouldn't have had room to put up the other banner…and I thought that one was a little more important."
Though there was no other banner present in the room, Alvin smiled. "So you already got it up?"
"Yes…no thanks to you."
"Simon, you're being a little hard on your brother, don't you think?" Dave scolded Simon. "After all, this is a big night for him."
Simon sighed. "Sorry, Alvin, it's just been crazy around here tonight." He paused. "And yes, the other banner is rigged up and ready to go."
"Thanks, Simon." Alvin impulsively hugged his brother. "You're the best."
"Hey, what about me?" A voice said from beside him. Alvin turned to see Theodore grinning at him from his wheelchair. "I'm going to be the magic behind the scenes, remember."
"Of course," Alvin gave his little brother a fierce hug, grunting at the strength in Theodore's arms. Theodore had grown quite a bit of muscle in his arms over the years, being that the only way he could really move himself about was to pull himself around with his hands. "I wouldn't be able to pull this off without you, either, Theodore."
"You need to go get ready, Alvin." Dave reminded him. "Theodore, you go help him. Simon and I will finish with the decorations." Simon groaned. "People will be arriving to hear your and Brittany's debut album in a just about an hour. So hurry!"
Theodore and Alvin wasted no time running to the men's bathroom, where Alvin quickly changed into his tuxedo and washed the stage makeup from his face. "Do you need any help, Theodore?"
"Just with my pants." Theodore sounded frustrated. "Normally I could get it myself, but this darn cummerbund…"
It always amazed Alvin about just how self-sufficient Theodore had become. He still needed quite a bit of help…especially with personal cares, as he still couldn't always tell when he had soiled himself…but he had found multiple ways to alternately do things that Alvin took for granted.
His brother was definitely one special Chipmunk.
Theodore helped Alvin with his own cummerbund after Alvin had finished assisting him. "You look great, Alvin."
"Really?" Alvin regarded himself critically in the mirror. "I'm not so sure…is my tie crooked?"
"Its fine." Theodore assured him.
"And you talked to the MC. He knows he's introducing me, then I'm introducing Brittany, right?"
"I didn't forget, Alvin. He knows."
"Wonderful." Alvin patted his pocket protectively. "Okay. I think we've got everything set…I hope, at least…"
"Don't worry, Alvin. It'll be fine." Theodore hesitated. "So…are you ready for this?"
"Ready? No." Alvin shuddered. "I don't think I'll ever be ready. But I'm as ready as I'm going to ever be."
They could hear people starting to gather outside. "Okay, then, Alvin. It's show time."
Alvin could hear his and Brittany's new album playing softly in the background as he joined the party. He tried his hardest to make small talk, but in actuality was just waiting to see one familiar face join the crowd. He was rewarded after a short time when Brittany entered, flinging open the doors as if she were a twenties movie star making her entrance, and looking just as lovely. She was wearing a dark pink sequined gown, and somehow in the last two hours had totally transformed herself into a true American princess. Alvin wasted no time in going to her.
"You look lovely." He said quietly.
"Of course." Brittany agreed. She looked him over critically. "You don't look so bad yourself. Of course, " she said, straightening his tie. "Your bowtie was a little crooked."
Alvin thought he could live with that. "You ready?"
"I guess so." Brittany smiled at him nervously. "It's funny, you know? I've done these things with the Chippettes countless times but now that it's just you and me, I'm terrified. What if something goes wrong?
"Nothing is going to go wrong." Alvin assured her. "Trust me."
Brittany narrowed her eyes. "Alvin…"
Alvin sighed in exasperation. "Why is it every time I say that someone has to act like I'm going to do something to get myself into trouble?"
"Because you usually do." Brittany pointed out.
"Well, I'm not. I promise."
The Master of Ceremonies calling their names interrupted them. "Well, it looks like the guests of honor have finally arrived." The MC called. "Alvin Seville, Brittany Miller, we would love it if you would come up here and say a few words."
Alvin gave Brittany's hand a squeeze. "Ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be." Brittany squeezed his hand back, and they walked up to the stage with their hands still entwined.
"You all know them from their hit bands Alvin and the Chipmunks and Brittany and the Chippettes, but this is the first album that Alvin and Brittany have made solo together." The MC said. "And if this first album is any indicator, they have a very profitable future ahead of them. And now, " The MC swung his hand with some fanfare. "It's Alvin and Brittany!"
Alvin had to make sure he got to the microphone first. Brittany still seemed a little nervous, a little out of character for her, but lucky for him. "Hi, everyone." He said into the microphone. "First off, I'd like to thank my brothers, Simon and Theodore, for being so supportive. And Dave, my dad, who always believed in me." He could see Dave smiling in the front. Simon and Theodore were nowhere to be found, but that didn't worry Alvin. "And of course the Chippettes, who were not only some of my best friends, but also our muses. But that, of course, should be left for Brittany to speak about. And so…" This was it…"I give you my fiancé, Brittany Miller."
Silence reigned in the entire hall. For a room holding over a thousand people, you couldn't even hear anyone breathe.
"Fiancé?" Brittany finally said, looking at Alvin in astonishment. "What? Fiancé?"
"Well, Brittany, we've always known-"
A little of Brittany's signature anger was starting to show through. "Fiancé? Are you kidding me? You never even asked me!"
"I didn't?" Alvin asked in false astonishment.
"No, you didn't!" Brittany accused, her anger making her forget that she was on national television. "I think I would have remembered."
"Would you have said no?"
"Well, of course not, but I would have appreciated the courtesy-"
"You're right." Alvin said, dropping to one knee. "I didn't think about how much you would have wanted a romantic proposal." He pulled a velvet box from his pocket. "But I'm asking now."
That was Theodore's cue. From behind the stage, he pulled the rope that released the hidden banner that was hung across from the stage. Simon simultaneously started playing Brittany and Alvin's signature song, Together Forever.
Brittany gasped as she saw the banner drop. On it, in gold calligraphy, were the words: Brittany, will you marry me?
Alvin opened the velvet box. Inside, a diamond ring that rivaled Elizabeth Taylor's lay, surrounded by rubies. "Brittany," He said, reaching up with the box. "I love you more than anything in this world. Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
Brittany could only stare at the ring, speechless. She had never seen anything so beautiful. Eons passed as she gazed at the ring, then looked at Alvin, then gazed at the ring again. Again the entire room seemed to be holding their breath.
Suddenly she smiled at Alvin, her features lighting up the room as nothing else could ever do. "Yes, Alvin. I will marry you."
The applause that followed was thunderous. Alvin and Brittany didn't care. Alvin slipped off the promise ring he had given her so many years ago and replaced it with the much more expensive engagement ring. He handed the promise ring back to her. "Keep it. Maybe you can give it to one of our daughters someday."
Brittany laughed delightedly, pulling Alvin to his feet. "You're getting a head of yourself, Alvin." She kissed him then, and if possible, the cheering got louder. She broke away. "Right now, we have a premier to host."
"Do we have to?" Alvin said plaintively.
"Yes." Brittany said firmly, and then smiled at him seductively. "But just wait until after the premiere…"
Alvin couldn't stop the grin that crossed his face.
End of Part One