Fred the fish.
Eric's prediction came true, Shelly got sick, and then gave it to him, so both of them were shivering and miserable, going through a box of Kleenex per day. Both their noses going red and bleeding occasionally from the amount of times they rubbed it with a Kleenex. Shelly groaned and passed out her head on Eric's lap, he leaned against the back of the couch, sniffling " told ya" he said attempting a grin, she looked up at him, her eyes tearing, she wiped her eyes and blew her nose so she could breath " shush. You got it too". He smiled and stroked her forehead " yeah yeah we're both suffering, you know maybe the guys are right we need a pet in here or something" she looked at him like he was insane " last time I had a pet the fish died in two days" she said yawning, he looked at her " did you feed it?" " ummm…" came her sheepish response. He laughed and shook his head. It took two weeks for the cold to finally leave the apartment, it had begun to snow outside, Shelly fished around for her's and Eric's winter coats, well..semi winter coats. Eric had gotten his bike back from the shop, she looked at him with a raised eyebrow " your not going to ride that on the slushy streets are you?" he shrugged, she shook her head and wrapped her arms around him from behind " what if I made a compelling argument to dissuade you" she said trying to hide the worry in her voice, he shrugged and turned around " depends on the argument" he said cheekily, she looked around from side to side and up at him and lept up kissing him, and dropped back down on her feet " hmm compelling argument" he said with a laugh. She laughed and threw his coat at him " it's snowing" she said simply and found a pair of sneakers. He nodded putting it on and sliding into a pair of black boots by the door, grabbing his lunch and her purse which served as a lunch bag for her and also a supply of aspirin, lip gloss, earings, bracelets and scrunchies. They left quickly, making sure the door was locked, she took her purse and smiled taking his hand, their feet crunching in the snow " I love the snow, it's like a thousand diamonds falling to the ground" she said smiling up at him, the large snow flakes landing on her face and eyelashes. He shook his head brushing the snow from his quickly dampening hair " naw the rain, it makes everything fresh and clean, instead of just covering it up." She looked down and squeezed his hand, her finger-tips going slightly numb. "but the snow is cool to" he said covering up, she shook her head and scuffed her shoe on the pavement, he looked down at her worried, something definitely wrong, " Shelly? Hunny? Is everything okay" she nodded and sniffed her nose and cheeks going red. " just thinking" she mumbled quietly, as they passed the pet store where the kitten was, she reached out and touched the glass, new kittens had been put there, she looked down and rested her head on his arm, as they continued that walk to school.
Shelly went home early, as Eric had practice with the guys at Jeremy's house, she plopped down on the couch and looked at the empty apartment, and sighed rubbing her forehead " why" the place didn't feel like home, she pulled herself up from the couch and found twenty bucks in her wallet and went to the petstore, there she went two hours picking out a gold fish bowl, and some gravel and three fish. Bringing everything home was a challenge, the fish was tucked inside her jacket, so her body heat would them warm. Opening the door, she quickly pried off her shoes and shut the door, setting the fish stuff on the table in the kitchen and then put the fish on the table, and began to set up the bowl. She set the bowl down in the living room on the small table beside the couch, the bowl was just small enough to fit on it without a problem, she fed the fish and watched them with a smile " you know, your like Freddie, so energetic" she said looking at the calico bubbly eyed one, and just watched it, with a smile. Eric walked in through the door, holding something under his jacket, she grinned and bounded to him as she heard the door, and looked at him curiously as how he was holding his arm under his coat. He undid the zipper and suddenly a white fluffy kitten popped out, her eyes went wide as she picked up the kitten " Eric how did you know! It's the same one from the petstore" she said grinning and giggling. He smiled and looked at her innocently " a little black bird told me" he said and she set the kitten down and hugged him, suddenly she paled " the fish…" now it was his turn to pale " fish…you bought fish…" she looked at him sheepishly and nodded " their names are Jimmy, Roger, and Fred." He blinked stupidly for a few seconds. " what kind of fish" he asked cautiously " three of those bubbly eyed ones, and one's a calico and the others are black" he made a face " fishes" she laughed and took his hand following the kitten who was attacking the carpets, " so whats her name" she asked him sitting down on the couch, pulling him down with her, he eyed the fish tank warily. " Gabriel" he said smiling up at her, she grinned and leaned down to kiss him, his head resting in her lap. Gabriel lept up and rested on Eric's chest, his long fingers rubbing the little thing's head, she smiled and leaned back, now this felt like a home, a true and proper home.
" Good god shelly, you eat a lot for a girl, you'll get fat that way" her mother cautioned, as she was reaching for another spoon full on potatoes, she dropped the spoon back and looked at her plate, and gulped, her eyes smarting " yes ma'am" she managed to reply. Her mother and siblings could be so critical, " so shelly, do you think with all the starch you've been consuming you can still fit into those little skirts you enjoy to wear? What about your boyfriend? Won't he care that your gaining weight?" her mother continued, Shelly looked down at her plate " I..um…excuse me" she said and stood up from the table and went to her room, her hands shaking, she took her clothes off except for her bra and panties and looked at herself in the mirror " oh god. How can Eric even find himself attracted to this" she asked her eyes misting over, she saw herself as fat and ugly, even though she was very thin, almost unhealthily so, as she had begun to starve herself and only with Eric's convincing would she eat and begin to feel better, but now she felt horrible about herself, she would keep going then, maybe he wouldn't notice she thought to herself, she looked at her stomach in the mirror, sucking it in and whimpered " crap I look like I'm pregnant" she let out a muffled scream and turned off the lights and crawled under her blankets and clutched her arms to her body. She could hear her mothers voice in her head critising everything " I don't understand why you can't be a doctor. Why do you insist on going into photography? There's nothing there, there's no profit, why can't you be more like your sister? Why do you have to like that boy? Why do you have to be so weird, Shelly, you shouldn't eat so much, don't slouch, go change you look like a whore, take off that lipstick. Honestly? Black eyeliner? You look gothic." Shelly let out a scream in her pillow as these thoughts swirled around her head, why didn't this feel like home. Why!
" Shelly? Hunnie" Eric was stroking her face, she let out a groan and opened her eyes and yawned " hey lover, what time is it…" he looked over at the clock on the wall " almost six, you whimpering in your sleep…I made some food if your hungy" he said softly kissing her temple. She sat up sleepily, he had moved her from the couch to their bed, she smiled and slid out from under the covers. " sure, it's not rice and fudge is it?" she asked with a grin, he laughed and shook his head no, he had made them spaghetti, she smile and took a plate, yawning sleepily she plunked down across from him at the table, nudging him gently with her foot. He smirked from the bowl of food " implying something?" he asked smiling, she shook her head and smiled back innocently, the cat was curled up on the chair by the door, near it's food and water. Eric kept glancing at the fish tank and shuddered " evil fish." She giggled and leaned across the table kissing him. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, Shelly stood up to get in but Eric got there first, in the doorway was chris " hey baby brother, hey Barbie" he said smirking at Shelly, she scowled and looked down at her dinner. " what do you want Chris" Eric said with a snarl, Chris looked at him " I'm staying." Shelly paled and walked over " and when was this decided" she said snappishly, cranky as she just woke up, Eric scowled and pushed Chris against the wall " oh yeah. Sais who" Chris smirked " said dad. Apparently I got into a little trouble, and now I gotta hang low" Shelly looked at Eric who dropped his brother and went back to her, Chris raised an eyebrow at Shelly " what aren't you even going to invite me in?" he asked cheekily, she scowled and turned around facing him " you can do that yourself can't you" she said scowling as she went back to her now cold dinner.
Chris smirked and came in with a school bag stuffed with his clothing, Shelly winced as he slammed the door. Eric was clutching his fork so tight his entire finger when white " fuck. Who does he think he is" he growled in a soft whisper. She placed her hand over his shaking one " he's family" she whispered and brought his hand up kissing his knuckles, he looked down at her as if apologizing, she shook her head, " Shelly promise me, if he tries anything" she nodded " I will" and held his hand and finished her dinner. Chris set up on the couch and looked in distain at the fish, and scowled at the kitten, Shelly walked over and handed him a blanket and pillow, he grabbed her arm and pulled her down " so Barbie doll, what makes you so interested in my brother?" she scowled and tried to stand back up, wrenching her arm away " do you really want to know that?" she asked testily, he grabbed her wrist, she tried to brace herself incase he tried anything, Eric walked by and scowled " Chris. Let her go" he said trying to control his anger at seeing Shelly being treated like that, Chris raised an eyebrow and let go " she's a whore anyway" Eric was about to lunge at him, Shelly grabbed him " come on sweetie…we need to talk" she said quietly, Chris smirked " OOoooo your in trouble now" he said smirking, she glared at Chris and went into their room with him making sure the kitten came with them, and locked the door. " Eric…what kind of trouble" she said looking at him pulling him down with her on the bed, he sighed " I don't know. I don't want to know" she nodded and kissed the top of his head, the kitten resting on Eric's chest, she smiled and kissed his cheek " it'll be okay, just ignore him sweetheart" she said softly, holding Eric tightly.